GOP set to unveil 'governing agenda'
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, has called a members-only meeting Wednesday night to review and discuss a draft of the House GOP's "new governing agenda" document, just hours before it is to be unveiled at an event Thursday morning in Virginia.
Last-second changes have not been ruled out to the document, which some in the GOP have described as comparable to the Contract With America that Republicans rode to power in 1994.
The document covers five categories -- jobs, spending, healthcare, national security and government reform -- with four or five items then listed under each. Officials declined Monday to release exact language.
"At a conference this Wednesday evening, leadership will be presenting a draft of the agenda -- the result of a months-long process of engagement with the American people as well as a series of open member meeting on the topic," Boehner announced in an e-mail to members this morning.
"The purpose of this [Wednesday GOP conference] meeting is to make sure members are comfortable with this governing agenda," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who has been leading the effort to come up with such a document.
Its development has been part of the "America Speaking Out" outreach that House Republicans launched on Memorial Day. As McCarthy has described it, the aim was to get public input through town halls and other events for a list of ideas or policies they could use, if they regain the majority in November, to lead "more responsibly than both Democrats and previous Republican Congresses."
Members and GOP House candidates will not be called on to sign the document as they did with 1994's "Contract."
But so tight has been information about the final product that copies of the draft document won't be available for members to read until 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Boehner's meeting room, prior to the conference dinner set for 6:15 p.m., according to Boehner's e-mail.
The release of the document is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, after a small-business roundtable event at a hardware store in Sterling, Va. Boehner, McCarthy and other leaders and members will attend that event.