House Democratic leaders on Thursday immediately pushed back on the GOP’s new governing agenda, calling it a “rehash” of old ideas.
“If this is implemented, what we are going to see is the infliction of a plague on America,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn said.
The House Republican agenda, dubbed “A Pledge to America,” was formally unveiled Thursday in Sterling, Va. The blueprint includes a series of reforms including cutting the size of the federal government and extending the Bush-era tax cuts.
Clyburn said proposals to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law and cut seniors’ benefits are key areas that would cause pain to Americans.
“Just think of what it will do to the seniors in our country if we allow the reduction of benefits because of the schemes that they are currently discussing in this so-called pledge,” the South Carolina Democrat said.
Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) echoed those sentiments, saying he was glad Republicans came out with their proposal because it highlights the differences between the two parties.
“We think there is a broad contrast,” the Connecticut Democrat said. “The American people are going to get to see whose side they are on, as opposed to those of us out there working daily to make sure that our message gets across.”
The leaders said Democrats will wage a “very rigorous response” to the latest GOP pledge in contrast to the party’s response to the GOP’s 1994 “Contract with America.”
The White House also took a swipe at the GOP platform.
“With this plan, they have made clear that they want to take America back to the same failed economic policies that caused this recession,” White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer wrote in a blog post Wednesday evening. “Instead of charting a new course, Congressional Republicans doubled down on the same ideas that hurt America’s middle class.”