House GOP Hopes to Stay on Message Over Break
House Republicans will spend their holiday recess much like they spent the first session of the 111th Congress: criticizing the Democratic agenda and highlighting their own solutions to the nation’s problems. Republican leaders felt the wind at their backs as they wrapped up 2009 with a series of unified votes against Democratic priorities such as an overhaul of the rules governing the nation’s financial system, a two-month debt ceiling increase and a $150 billion jobs package.But House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) said that while Members should take time out to spend the holidays with their loved ones, they need to stay engaged over the break — especially on the issue of health care. “This isn’t one of those breaks to go dark,’— Pence told Roll Call. Pence said GOP Conference staff would be on hand throughout the holidays to help book Members on television and radio shows to keep the Republicans’ message alive and on the airwaves.House Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) whip team will be engaged as well. “We’ll be in contact with the whip team on several fronts, namely health care and economic updates as warranted and appropriate,— said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for Cantor. In the 13-page recess “issues brief— distributed by the House Republican Conference on Wednesday, GOP lawmakers were encouraged to talk to their constituents about how the Democratic health care bills would wreak havoc on the economy, raise taxes and kill over a million jobs. In addition to information surrounding health care reform, the packet included talking points on the Democratic energy bill, the Obama administration’s plan to close the Guantánamo Bay detainment facility and financial sector regulatory reform.It also contained highlights from the Republican American Clean Energy Act, as well as a short summery of the Republican support for the war in Afghanistan. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters Thursday that Republicans would continue to offer “better solutions— in the coming year and predicted Democrats would have a tough time selling their legislative agenda to the American people in 2010. “I hope [Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)] does a great job of marketing all the garbage they passed this past year,— Boehner said. “When we have to stand up on principle and oppose our Democratic colleagues, we will do so, but we will also offer to the American people what we think are better solutions.—Boehner added he was looking forward to a “very exciting 2010.—“I think 2010 will be a stormy year for the Democrats here in Congress,— he said.