When can we expect to see the House Republican inflation plan? It was the number-one issue we heard about throughout the 2022 campaign, and justifiably so: The rising cost of living is a major problem for most Americans, particularly the broader middle class, whose wages have not kept up. Republicans ran on the proposition that Democrats and their policies were to blame, and that if put in power, they would enact new policies to remedy the issue. We asked eight GOP Senate candidates for their plans, and while the platforms four of them offered up had some shortcomings (the others didn't respond), they at least offered some (eerily similar) proposals.
So far, House Republicans have kicked off their ascent to the majority by announcing investigations into Hunter Biden and his laptop. Anthony Fauci is high on the list. Probable (possible?) incoming Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is training his sights on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, possibly with the intent to impeach him. That same word is perennially in the 'R' lexicon with regard to President Joe Biden, presumably for the high crime of high gas prices or, if the White House press corps has its way, for not inviting them to his granddaughter's wedding.
Ah, that last part is worth lingering on. Will the mainstream press that believed(?) that Republicans cared about inflation over the last year now demand that House Republicans produce a plan? Will they even entertain the pretense that the politicians might follow through on their campaign promises? Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, Republican of Pennsylvania, had an op-ed in The Hill on Monday announcing that we should all be thankful the Republicans are now in charge of the House so they can fight inflation by cutting spending. Your mileage may vary on that, but will we get some specifics on what he's going to cut? If he says "NPR," will anyone point out that it consumes a minuscule percentage of the federal budget? If Republicans pledge to cut taxes too, will they be asked to explain how that helps the inflation situation?
I, for one, would like to see some more detail on Kevin McCarthy's "Commitment to America" plan, which includes the following:
Curb wasteful government spending that is raising the price of groceries, gas, cars, and housing, and growing our national debt
Increase take-home pay, create good-paying jobs, and bring stability to the economy through pro-growth tax and deregulatory policies
Maximize production of reliable, American-made energy
Cut the permitting process time in half to reduce reliance on foreign countries, prevent rolling blackouts, and lower the cost of gas and utilities
Move supply chains away from China
Expand U.S. manufacturing
Enhance America’s economic competitiveness and cyber resiliency
Again, like the Senate Republican plans we mentioned, few of these initiatives are likely to have an effect on inflation anytime soon. But can we get some specifics on the wasteful government spending that will be cut? What policies do Republicans favor—which taxes will they cut? which regulations?—to increase take-home pay? (One thing we don't have is a jobs shortage.) Are we going to acknowledge that average domestic oil production is up under Biden, or that he's made significant plays—with Congress—to re-shore manufacturing, particularly the computer chip supply chains that make us vulnerable to China?
How about action on the other major issue raised by 2022 Republican campaigns, especially in their ads: the scourge of crime in our cities? Will they do anything on that front? Or are Biden crimes the only ones the House will concern itself with? If the party out of power runs a two-issue campaign, it would be nice to get some credible action on at least one of those issues when they get in power. What does Republican governance look like? And please, be specific.
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