by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
With Republicans claiming control of the U.S. House of Representatives but failing to capture the Senate, the party is likely to move forward with a number of its “Commitment to America” initiatives — even if the measures never make it past the lower chamber.
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy unveiled the four-pronged plan in the fall before Republicans had a less-than-stellar showing in the midterms. The policy pitch laid out the party’s top priorities should Republicans take control of the House: forge an “economy that’s strong, a nation that’s safe, a future that’s built on freedom,” and a government that is “accountable.”
House Republicans are now left to push through legislation that will serve as a message, but will have little to no hope of passing in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
McCarthy suggested in September that the first order of business in the new Congress will be to “repeal 87,000 IRS agents,” a reference to the so-called Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 that Democrats passed in August. The measure included an $80 billion infusion into the IRS that would allow the agency to hire nearly 87,000 new employees over a decade, with the expectation that increased enforcement would help subsidize the massive spending bill.
Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.), the third-ranking House Republican, suggested at the time that one of the Republicans’ top priorities if they retook the chamber would be to support the hiring of 200,000 police officers across the country. She also said they would target “radical left prosecutors” who are “refusing to abide by the rule of law and are prioritizing the criminals rather than the law-abiding citizens” — both tenets of the four-point plan.
The “Commitment to America” proposal laid out instructions for hiring more police officers through recruiting bonuses and opposing all efforts to defund the police.