What a House GOP majority agenda might look like | Venable LLP

While recent polls suggest Democrats have closed the electoral gap in terms of House races, historical trends, favorable maps and polling data show Republicans are still on course to win enough seats in the House race. November midterm elections to become the majority party in the House next year. However, the Senate remains a toss-up, with political pundits seeing that Democrats are slightly favored to retain a majority (at a minimum considering Vice President Harris as a tiebreaker) in the “upper house”.

If Republicans take the House, the clear favorite to lead as president is current House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), along with current House Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), as Majority Leader. The Whip position will be open, with the possibility of Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA) or Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) stepping in, who are currently Deputy Whip and Chair of the NRCC, respectively. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has already released a statement expressing her desire to remain as conference president, but freshman Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) has also expressed interest in running for the position.

Leader McCarthy is lining up the political pieces for a potential Republican majority while working to maintain a consistent midterm economic message. By creating Republican “task forces” to work in tandem with House committees, Leader McCarthy was able to broaden the scope of House Republican Conference members invited to his leadership table. These task forces compiled key policy agenda items and disseminated them to members of the Republican Conference, who tested the message with voters throughout August to lay the groundwork for what Chef McCarthy calls the “Commitment to America.”

Like the “Contract for America” ​​and “A Better Way,” instituted by former Republican presidents, Leader McCarthy’s agenda attempts to improve transparency in the House and advance conservative policies that Republicans say will have a direct impact on the daily life of the middle class. voters. We expect “Commitment to America” ​​to roll out on September 23. Below is an overview of the messages associated with the initiative:

Ahead of the November election, we expect Leader McCarthy to predict what a Republican majority will seek to do legislatively next year if it wins a majority in naming the top ten bills (that’s i.e. HR 1-10) that he would seek to offer. in the first 100 days of the new congress. Many of the expected pieces of legislation have already been drafted and highlighted by Republican task forces, but some changes and amendments will likely need to be made before any consideration on the ground. Below are the most recent posts from the House Republican task forces, which include specific bills for consideration in 2023.

Healthy Futures Task Force

Jobs and Economy Working Group

Energy, Climate and Conservation Working Group

US Security Task Force

Big Tech, Censorship and Data Working Group

If Republicans win enough seats in November to take the House in 2023, the lame (post-election) session of 2022 will likely be led by Senate and House Democrats. We should expect them to try to clean up the deck before the end of the year, not only by funding the government, but also by extending specific health care and tax provisions for a specified period. Given that many House Republicans are unlikely to vote to fund the Biden administration’s policy agenda, a new Republican majority in 2023 would likely require Democratic votes to fund the government.

It should be noted that given the polarized nature of Congress, it is highly likely that, especially if House Republicans are in the majority, there could be a temporary government shutdown. If House Republicans are in the majority, members of the Republicans House Freedom Caucus could force the incoming president’s hand, mirroring the shutdown that occurred in 2013 under then-Speaker Boehner (R-OH). The funding associated with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, to some extent, will continue to face strong opposition from House Republicans. Another point of contention that could lead to a legislative deadlock if Republicans win a majority in the House is funding for new climate change initiatives passed in the IRA. Increasing household energy generation from fossil fuels is a core part of the House Republican platform, and House Republicans could very well try to force the hand of the Biden administration to do so. concessions in order to avoid a stoppage.

Under Republican leadership, we would expect to see a more aggressive congressional schedule in 2023. Leader McCarthy has consistently criticized the number of days the House is out of session and will likely keep members in DC for additional weeks if he becomes President. As in previous Republican majorities, expect “theme weeks” in the House. This is essential for House leaders to maintain a broad coalition of members from across the Republican spectrum on a specific topic. Expect weeks devoted to national energy production, China’s accountability, parental rights, big tech censorship, border security, law enforcement and reducing crime, affordable health care and lower inflation.

On political issues, if the Republicans win a majority, we could see Leader McCarthy enter political debates ignored by other Republican leaders. For example, he can tackle issues like climate change by taking pictures of a Biden administration perceived as “radical environmentalism,” while backing new carbon-reducing technologies like carbon capture. Certain social issues such as abortion may remain politically tense for Republican leaders, so we expect Leader McCarthy to try to divert energy away from these issues and focus on the economy and the perceived shortcomings of the current administration. Additionally, in a significant shift from past House GOP majorities, we could see House Republican leaders scoping out companies they believe have placed too much value on environmental, social and governance issues. that go against conservative principles.

While critical policy elements are still being worked out, here are some of the legislative issues House Republicans could seek to resolve in 2023 if they win a majority:

HR 19 – Lower Costs, More Salaries Act. While the prescription drug provisions of the Reducing Inflation Act will alter the details of this bill to some extent, the message surrounding HR 19 will be to improve drug price transparency, to hold responsible manufacturers to patients and to protect American innovation. Republicans will continue to focus on policy that encourages innovation of breakthrough new treatments, promotes more low-cost options for patients, and curbs business practices perceived as questionable by some players.

Home energy production. It’s the number one issue for many Republican members, including Rep. Scalise. Many House Republicans in energy-producing states like Louisiana, Wyoming and Texas see the current administration’s environmental policies as a direct attack on the livelihoods of their constituents. House Republican could challenge funding for the administration’s clean energy initiatives, as Republicans believe gas prices give them public support to aggressively push a political agenda of deregulation. Expect legislation that addresses drilling on federal lands, expediting all Drilling Permit Applications (DPAs), streamlining the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), securing national exploration for critical minerals, and expanding the use hydroelectricity.

Declaration of Parents’ Rights. Introduced in the current Congress, this bill contains numerous transparency and accountability provisions designed to increase parental involvement in schools. It is based on five fundamental principles that would apply to all schools in the country receiving federal funding.

  • Parents have the right to review their school’s curriculum, reading materials, and state academic standards.
  • Parents have the right to legally engage with their local school board and educators.
  • Parents have the right to see a school’s budget and expenses, including detailed income and expense information.
  • Parents have the right to protect their child’s privacy.
  • Parents have the right to keep their child safe and to be informed of any violent activity at school.

Extend Trump’s tax cuts. House Republicans will take steps to extend or make permanent certain tax credits included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Expect this to reinforce the message that Republicans will reduce the economic burden on working families. Importantly, many of the individual tax cuts will expire in 2025, giving Republicans an opportunity to stress the urgency of making these changes permanent to ease the burden on families.

This measure will not take away from a set of tax extensions at the end of the year, and with the expiry of the R&D credit for companies, we should expect this element to be extended before 2023.

Border security. Given the continued influx of migrants at the border, expect Republicans to draft legislation that will force the administration’s hand to gain operational control of the border. Border policies will focus on utilizing all available border security technologies, including finishing the wall, reinstating the “Stay in Mexico” policy, and empowering enforcement personnel. laws.

Social media censorship. Conservative House Republicans will be on a mission to end the perceived “big tech” censorship of conservative beliefs. We would expect the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on this topic and possibly propose legislation through the committee on the matter. The Protect Speech Act, the only bill introduced by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) to this Congress, changes the immunity from liability of a provider or user of an interactive computer service (for example, a social media company) for filtering and blocking offensive content on its platform.

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