New pledge from Republicans as US elections loom

Republican Party leaders gathered in Virginia to unveil a new strategy they hope will help wrest control of Congress from President Barack Obama`s Democrats.

Sterling: Republican Party
leaders gathered on Thursday at a lumber yard in Virginia to unveil
a new strategy they hope will help wrest control of Congress
from President Barack Obama`s Democrats.

The "Pledge to America" echoes the 1994 effort
centered around a "Contract with America," which propelled
Republican gains at the time.

The details set to be unveiled amid slabs of plywood
and sheets of two by four by the party leadership in the House
of Representatives would tell voters how the Republicans plan
to govern if they regain a majority.

According to media reports, the Republicans will
pledge to "stop job-killing tax hikes" and cut government
spending by repealing health care reforms and rolling back
non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels, when Republican
George W Bush was in the White House.

They also vow to reform Congress, get tough on
sanctions on Iran, and beef up funding for the defence
department, while saving USD 100 billion in the first year as
they rein in spending, according to a copy of the manifesto
reported in the US media.

But even before the Republicans had formally announced
their vision for the way forward, the White House and leading
Democrats were slamming the "Pledge to America" as
backward-looking and harmful to middle class America.

"Instead of charting a new course, Congressional
Republicans doubled down on the same ideas that hurt America`s
middle class," White House communications director Dan
Pfeiffer said.

"This is the same agenda that caused the deepest
recession since the Great Depression... Instead of a pledge to
the American people, Congressional Republicans made a pledge
to the big special interests to restore the same economic
ideas that benefited them at the expense of middle-class
families," Pfeiffer said on the White House blog.

Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi echoed the White House
criticism, saying the Republican manifesto would return the
United States "to the same failed economic policies that hurt
millions of American and threatened our economy."

"Congressional Republicans are pledging to ship jobs
overseas; blow a USD 700 billion hole in the deficit to give
tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires; turn Social
Security from a guaranteed benefit into a guaranteed gamble;
once again, subject American families to the recklessness of
Wall Street; and take away patients` rights," she said.


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