×

GOP Agenda: Kill Health Care, Cut Spending and Taxes

Republicans in the House successfully campaigned in November congressional elections on a "Pledge to America" that they said would heal the ailing U.S. economy.

GOP symbol and cash
Mike Kemp | Getty Images
GOP symbol and cash

While short on specifics, the agenda aims to create jobs, reduce spending, shrink government and cut taxes. The Democrats still hold the Senate, making it difficult for Republicans to carry out many of their pledges.

Here is a look at key points in the agenda that Republicans will push when they take control of the House on Wednesday:

— Repeal and replace President Barack Obama's landmark overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system with "common-sense solutions" to lower medical costs, permit Americans to buy insurance across state lines and enact liability reform to curb what critics call frivolous lawsuits against doctors. A vote on this could come in the next few weeks.

If passed by the House, the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to go along and Obama is opposed, but he has expressed openness to fine-tuning parts of the law.

— End government control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy residential mortgages to free up lenders to engage in new deals. Both have been accused of poor decisions that undermined the U.S. housing industry.

— Save an estimated $100 billion by rolling back federal spending to 2008 levels, with exceptions for the elderly, U.S. troops and veterans.

— Impose a net hiring freeze on non-security federal workers. New employees would be hired only to replace those who leave.

— Allow small business owners to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income. The revenue loss likely would add to huge federal budget deficits and further complicate efforts to slow the growth of cumulative debt.

—Extend all Bush-era tax cuts "permanently" for the middle class as well as wealthier Americans. In December, Congress approved a two-year extension.

—House Republican leaders have also called for repealing tougher financial industry regulations enacted by Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress, although it was not included in the election pledge.

—Cancel all unspent money from Obama's $814 billion economic stimulus plan. Republicans say the program was a flop, even though the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates it boosted real Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter of 2010 by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent and raised employment by 1.4 million to 3.3 million jobs.

—Require congressional approval of any new federal regulations that may add to the budget deficit "or make it harder to create jobs."

—Bolster border security and require that suspected militants be tried in military rather than civilian courts. In August, Congress approved $600 million in additional funds to improve border security.

—Work with state and local officials to better enforce immigration laws.