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Text of New Republican "Pledge to America" Released

Pledges on taxes, spending, Obamacare, terrorism, abortion...and more!

7:07 PM, Sep 22, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Jay Cost argues in this week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD that the "real worth" of the Republicans' 1994 Contract with America "was in governing, not electioneering." The same could be said of the House Republicans new governing agenda, a copy of which is now making the rounds.

The entire "Pledge to America," which will be formally unveiled tomorrow, weighs in at almost 8,000 words with its foreword, supporting facts, and agenda items (read the full document here). But if you really just want to get down to what the GOP is actually promising to do, see the specific agenda items below, which are lumped into five categories: (1) create jobs and promote economic growth, (2) cut spending and balance the budget, (3) repeal and replace Obamacare, (4) promote national and border security, (5) enact procedural legislative reforms to promote good governance.

There had been some discussion as to whether or not social issues would be included in the document. And indeed they are. There's a broad pledge at the beginning to "honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values." And the specific agenda item on abortion is a pledge to "establish a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and subsidies for insurance coverage that includes abortion" and establish conscience protections for medical workers.

The highlights from the national security section include passing missile defense and Iran sanctions, as well as trying foreign terrorists in military courts and denying them Miranda rights.

Without further ado, here is the GOP agenda.

The plan to "create jobs, end economic uncertainty, and make America more competitive" is billed as the "first and most urgent domestic priority of our government":

•    Permanently Stop All Job-Killing Tax Hikes:  We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases, currently scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011.  That means protecting middle-class families, seniors worried about their retirement, and the entrepreneurs and family-owned small businesses on which we depend to create jobs in America.  

•    Give Small Businesses a Tax Deduction:  We will allow small business owners to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their business income.  This will provide entrepreneurs with a much-needed infusion of capital for investment and new hiring. 

•    Rein In the Red Tape Factory in Washington, DC:  Excessive federal regulation is a de facto tax on employers and consumers that stifles job creation, hampers innovation and postpones investment in the economy.  When the game is always changing, small businesses cannot properly plan for the future.  To provide stability, we will require congressional approval of any new federal regulation that has an annual cost to our economy of $100 million or more.  This is the threshold at which the government deems a regulation “economically significant.”  If a regulation is so “significant” and costly that it may harm job creation, Congress should vote on it first.

•    Repeal Job-Killing Small Business Mandates:  One of the most controversial mandates of the Democrats’ government takeover of health care requires small businesses to report to the Internal Revenue Service any  purchases that run more than $600.  This 1099 reporting mandate is so overbearing that the IRS ombudsman has determined that the agency is ill-equipped to handle all the resulting paperwork..  We will repeal this job-killing small business mandate. 

Cut spending:

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