DENVER DAILY NEWS
Local Republicans are pledging to America; Democrats say their pledge is nothing new.
Republicans in the U.S. House unveiled their campaign agenda on Thursday — a “Pledge to America” to create jobs, cut taxes and shrink government.
In Colorado, Republicans generally adopted the platform, while Democrats called it “nothing more than an old way backward — not a new way forward.”
Republican House leaders unveiled their manifesto at a lumberyard and hardware store in Sterling, Va., near the U.S. capital.
The agenda is reminiscent of “The Contract with America” that House Republicans announced on the steps of the Capitol in 1994. That manifesto helped them win control of the House during the second year of Democrat Bill Clinton’s presidency.
While short on specifics, the new Republican plan calls for $100 billion in annual savings by scaling back federal spending to 2008 levels — with exceptions for the elderly and U.S. troops — and ending government control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Republican House leaders also vowed to stop “job killing tax hikes” and allow small business owners to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their business income.
Republicans promised to repeal Obama’s landmark overhaul of the health care system and eliminate unspent funds from his $814 billion economic stimulus program.
The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal-leaning think tank, estimated the new Republican plan would reduce the deficit by 5.5 percent but cause gross domestic product to shrink by 1.1 percent, leading to a loss of 1.1 million jobs.
Congressman Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, said people want “big government to get out of the way and allow the free markets to get the economy moving again.”
“They want us to rein in spending and roll back the failed economic policies of this administration,” Lamborn said in a statement. “A Pledge to America lays out the agenda that the American people want Congress to enact now.”
Democratic incumbent Congressman Ed Perlmutter, D-Lakewood, said Republicans are really “pledging to outsource good American jobs to foreign countries.”
“I’m rolling up my sleeves and going to work every day for the hardworking people in the 7th Congressional District to bring good paying jobs to our area, stop abusive credit card practices, and help small businesses get access to credit so they can hire new workers,” Perlmutter said in a statement. “Failure is not an option as we work our way out of this recession, and unlike the Republicans, no is not the answer.”
Aurora City Council member, Republican Ryan Frazier, is challenging Perlmutter for his seat.
All Republicans, except one, voted against a bill that was sent to President Obama yesterday aimed at helping small businesses by boosting lending and providing $12 billion in new tax breaks that Democrats said would not add to the deficit.
Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, said Democrats simply aren’t listening to the American people.
“Our pledge does what Democrat leaders here in Washington have continually failed to do: listen to the American people and pursue an agenda that reflects their priorities,” he said in a statement. “The American people have been crying out for Washington to listen. We are listening and this is our agenda which focuses on the things that matter most to the American people.”