After Delays, GOP Set to Release New ‘Contract With America’

September 21, 2010 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

Republicans are announcing that their much touted “Contract With America,” will be unveiled in Virginia on Thursday and they promise that it will present a clear and constructive alternative to voters before midterms. While the GOP is riding a strong anti-incumbent wave of sentiment among voters, its two year “just say no” strategy in Washington has the party struggling to convince voters that it has new ideas for how to solve the country’s many crisis — meaning both sides of the aisle will likely scrutinize the document closely.

The document, meant to invoke the original “Contract with America” that Republicans unveiled in 1994 before taking back the House, has followed a long and rocky road to publication. Republicans delayed its release until after the August recess, saying they needed time, via their America Speaking Out program, to ask voters to submit ideas on how to govern the county. Before leaving for recess, however, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) invited senior lobbyists and trade group officials to his office to offer suggestions for the new GOP agenda as part of the America Speaking Out initiative. The move prompted much ridicule from Democrats, who quickly rebranded the initiative “Lobbyists Speaking Out.”

Another document from which the contract will likely borrow, but should not be confused with, is the “Contract from America,” a “crowd-sourced” document that tea party groups like FreedomWorks helped craft into a list of ten principles that they are now pushing congressional candidates to sign:

  • Protect the Constitution
  • Reject Cap & Trade
  • Demand a Balanced Budget
  • Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
  • Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government
  • End Runaway Government Spending
  • Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
  • Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
  • Stop the Pork
  • Stop the Tax Hikes

Unlike the 1994 contract, or the Contract *from *America, however, Republican leaders say they have no plans to sign their document.