Kevin McCarthy’s 2022 campaign agenda is all hat and no cattle

In September, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) released Commitment to America, his 2022 campaign agenda to solve”. McCarthy’s Commitment to America, however, fails to present his own plans to address these issues, relying instead on the Republican playbook of omissions, distortions, and distractions.

On foreign policy, McCarthy cites “mistakes” by the Biden administration regarding Ukraine, but gives no examples and offers no alternatives. The United States, McCarthy explains, “must put national security first.” However, he only offers clichés – support our troops and increase the (already huge) defense budget. The document makes no mention of domestic terrorist threats to national security. McCarthy does not say whether he agrees with Donald Trump’s oft-voiced 2016 promise to impose lengthy prison sentences on anyone who mishandles classified information because “nobody will be above the law.” He does not address whether a President has or should have the authority to release documents without following procedures and notifying the appropriate authorities.

Without acknowledging the role of COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions and the war in Ukraine in what is clearly a global issue, Commitment to America blames the Biden administration for inflation and the likelihood of a recession. McCarthy fails to mention that 2.9 million Americans lost their jobs when Trump left office; the trade deficit had increased by 40 percent; Home prices rose 27.5 percent; and the federal debt had skyrocketed from $14.4 trillion to $21.6 trillion — or that every Republican in Congress voted against extending the Child Care Tax Credit, which has helped reduce child poverty in the United States A 46 percent reduction in 2021 had the greatest impact in the red states and was supported by 59 percent of Americans (and 41 percent of Republican voters).

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The Republican economic agenda also sums up the usual suspects: McCarthy wants to reduce “wasteful spending”, deregulate and cut taxes. He doesn’t address the inflationary impact of tax cuts or whether a GOP-sponsored law in 2022 will disproportionately benefit the wealthy as it did in 2017.

McCarthy supports “maximum production” of domestic oil and gas, but ignores the windfall gains energy companies are currently enjoying, the impact of his proposal on climate change, and the time lag in implementation, which will drastically impact energy prices in the immediate future will decrease medium future.

Commitment to America promises “personalized healthcare” and “lower prices through choice and transparency.” McCarthy does not explain how the “personalization of healthcare” will be implemented. He doesn’t mention the dozens of times that House Republicans have voted to defund, deauthorize, or repeal the Affordable Care Act without ever agreeing on a replacement. Or that by the time Trump left office, the number of Americans without health insurance had increased by 3 million. Or that every Republican in Congress opposed the Biden administration’s bill that lowered prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies.

Commitment to America announces its intention to “protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers”. The document is silent on Red State legislation that bans abortion with no exceptions for rape and incest and imposes criminal sanctions on abortion providers. And about the nationwide abortion ban recently proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.).

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Commitment to America advocates “increased accountability in the electoral process” through voter IDs, accurate voter rolls, and observer access to polls, without explaining what problems these “reforms” will solve. The document is silent on whether Joe Biden was legitimately elected president. McCarthy does not mention, much less condemn, the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Or that all but nine Republicans in the House of Representatives (who have since announced their resignation or been defeated in a primary) have voted against legislation clarifying that the Vice President does not play a significant role in recording and certifying the results presented by the states of the Electoral College.

“Commitment to America” ​​also addresses, albeit obliquely, questions of the “Culture War”. In a veiled reference to attempts to ban discussions of gender identity, race and racism in public schools, the document states that “parents should be able to choose a curriculum for their child that is consistent with their values ​​and beliefs.” McCarthy does not explain whether each individual parent has this right, how such a right should be exercised, and the impact it has on teachers, administrators, local and state education authorities.

Apparently he doesn’t know – or doesn’t care – that only 18 percent of parents believe their children’s school teaches gender and sexuality in a way that contradicts their values ​​… and that the numbers for race are 19 percent and for the US history amounted to 14 percent.

Commitment to America claims that, you guessed it, building a wall on the US-Mexico border will drastically reduce illegal immigration. McCarthy fails to mention that illegal immigration rose 14 percent during the Trump administration. Or that Republicans have blocked sweeping immigration reform for decades.

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Without mentioning that in Trump’s final year as president, the homicide rate hit its highest level since 1997, or that local governments – not Washington DC politicians – bear the primary responsibility for crime prevention and punishment of criminals, or that crime levels in both red and blue states, Commitment to America denounces any attempts to “defund the police,” a policy also opposed by Biden and the vast majority of congressional Democrats.

The main goal—perhaps the only goal—of Republican politicians, who now take their marching orders from MAGA extremists and vote-resisters, is to do whatever it takes to gain and retain power. If the GOP wins a majority of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which seems likely, and McCarthy becomes Speaker, we can expect House Republicans to retaliate against the Democrats with hearings and impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Merrick Garland, Secretary of Homeland Security, among others Alejandro Mayorkas and President Biden.

As for passing policies that deal with issues relevant to Americans, don’t hold your breath.

Glenn C. Altschuler is the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. He is co-author (with Stuart Blumin) of “Rude Republic: Americans and their Politics in the Nineteenth Century.”