Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
September 22, 2022
To:        Editors, Editorial Writers, Reporters
From:   House Majority Leader Press Shop
Re:        Eight Questions for Leader McCarthy & Republicans on their 2022 Midterm Agenda Rollout
Date:    September 23, 2022


Overview

This morning, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will be outside of Pittsburgh to unveil House Republicans’ 2022 divisive midterm agenda.  In doing so, he is desperately trying to distract attention away from his toughest challenge this election cycle: how to hide House Republicans’ extremist agenda and internal dysfunction. 

Undoubtedly, the Republican Leader will perch behind a podium bearing a slick, poll-tested slogan.  (Unable to come up with something new, he’s recycling 2020’s “Commitment to America.)  Perhaps he chose Monongahela for his event because every view in Pittsburgh features a bridge – a reminder that nearly all House Republicans voted against the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and its historic investments in bridge, road, and rail construction.  He’ll be flanked by the likes of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose extremist and violent rhetoric has led her to be removed from her House committees.  At the rollout, he and his colleagues will be eager to answer reporters’ questions – unless, of course, they are asked about their dismal voting record or the radicalism of the agenda they are truly offering the American people. 

The American people, however, deserve answers.  They deserve better than polished, empty slogans reminiscent of all their other empty slogans.  They deserve better than being told to ignore the MAGA elephant in the room.  That’s why it is essential that House Republicans’ rollout today ought to be treated as a real opportunity to demand straight answers to these eight questions that concern Americans most. 

Question #1: Who won the 2020 Presidential Election?

This is a question Leader McCarthy desperately hope to avoid.  A majority of Republicans voted to overturn the 2020 Presidential Election, and many have even downplayed the violence of the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, leading to the deaths and injury of law enforcement officers.  A dangerous number of them refuse to set aside conspiracy theories.  We’ve heard House Republican leaders like Rep. Jim Jordan urge open-ended partisan investigations.  How much of Republicans’ 2022 agenda will be devoted to the QAnon conspiracy and rehashing the 2020 Election?

Question #2: Like President Trump, do you believe that the January 6 insurrectionists were engaged in “legitimate political discourse” and should not be prosecuted for their violent actions?

On February 4, 2022, the Republican Party officially declared that the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that led to the deaths and injury of law enforcement on January 6, 2021, was an act of “legitimate political discourse.”  Indeed, the former president who instigated that insurrection has said he would consider pardoning its perpetrators if re-elected to the presidency.  Does Leader McCarthy agree with his party’s official statement that the January 6 insurrection was “legitimate political discourse” and agree with the former Republican president that violent MAGA extremists who attacked law enforcement should be pardoned?

Question #3: Do you support defunding the FBI in retaliation for executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago?

After FBI personnel executed a search warrant and found classified government documents at Mar-a-Lago, the home of the former president, many Republicans were quick to denounce the law-enforcement agency and its officers and question their integrity.  Some House Republicans have even gone as far as to suggest that Congress ought to defund the FBI in retaliation for doing its job and conducting that search.  Someone ought to ask Leader McCarthy whether his 2022 midterm agenda includes a commitment to follow through on those threats and defund the FBI. 

Question #4: Will Republicans pursue a nationwide abortion ban?

After the extremist majority on the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, stripping away women’s right to privacy and reproductive choice, many Republican-led states imposed total or near-total abortion bans.  Millions of women now face the prospect of dying because a doctor cannot legally perform life-saving procedures.  Victims of rape or incest – including children – will be forced to carry pregnancies that resulted from heinous crimes.  House Republicans celebrated the overturning of Roe and declared that state legislatures alone should make these decisions.  Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, however, has introduced legislation to criminalize abortions nationally with very limited exceptions.  It’s time to get a straight answer from Leader McCarthy on who ought to make the most consequential decisions about women’s bodies and health: the Congress, the states, or – dare one suggest – women themselves.

Question #5: Do you support legislation to protect same-sex marriage and contraception-access nationally in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling? 

When the extremist wing of the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson to overturn nearly fifty years of precedent and invalidate Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion that the precedents for historic decisions guaranteeing the right to contraceptive care and marriage equality could be overturned as well.  Americans want to know whether House Republicans’ agenda supports that premise – whether Leader McCarthy would allow votes on the House Floor to prevent a future Supreme Court ruling from allowing states to ban contraception or same-sex marriage?

Question #6: Why do House Republicans continue to oppose lowering the price of insulin and other prescription drugs?

When Democrats enacted the Inflation Reduction Act last month, we took historic action to lower prescription-drug costs for seniors on Medicare and to extend affordable health coverage for millions of American households.  The Inflation Reduction Act set a $35 monthly cap on insulin and a $2,000 annual cap on out-of-pocket costs for all prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare.  Every single House Republican voted against that legislation; someone needs to ask Leader McCarthy why he and his Republican colleagues believe prescription-drug costs should go up instead of down. 

Question #7: If given the chance, will you try again to repeal the Affordable Care Act and strip health-care access away from millions of Americans?

When Republicans controlled the House between 2011 and 2019, they held more than 65 votes to undermine or repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Their “TrumpCare” plan in 2017 would have forced millions to lose coverage or pay higher premiums for lesser cover
age than under the Affordable Care Act.  House Republican incumbents and candidates have been conspicuously silent this cycle about how they would approach issues relating to accessing affordable health coverage.  Americans deserve to know whether Leader McCarthy and his colleagues will insist on continuing to hold vote after vote trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and threaten Americans’ health. 

Question #8: If Republicans want to control the House again, how would things be different from when they were last in the Majority and failed to deliver on their promises, miring Washington in partisanship and gridlock?

The previous Republican majority led what became known as the ‘Do-Nothing Congress’ and proved unable to govern.  Internal divisions and a hijacking by extremists caused an inability to enact even non-controversial and must-pass legislation without emergency help from Democrats.  Since Republicans lost their House Majority in 2019, those divisions and that extremism in their party has only grown worse. 

Over the past two years, in contrast, the Democratic Congress has been hailed as one of the most effective and consequential in generations.  From the American Rescue Plan to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, from the CHIPS and Science Act to the Inflation Reduction Act, our Democratic Majority has put people over politics and focused on what unites Americans instead of divides us.  We secured historic bipartisan wins, such as a broadly supported gun-safety law and legislation to protect veterans’ health care, demonstrating that we can deliver on our promises. 

Someone needs to ask Leader McCarthy what makes him think it would be easier now for Republicans to hold a majority together and pass legislation than it was earlier when they utterly failed to do so. 

Conclusion

Leader McCarthy and House Republicans cannot expect to stand up in front of reporters and the American people in Pennsylvania today and only set a smokescreen that obscures their real agenda of extremism.  That’s why it is up to journalists to demand that they answer the questions on Americans minds – that they give voters straight answers about what they stand for and what their plans are.  When those questions are asked and answered honestly, the American people will understand that their choice in 2022 is a clear one between MAGA extremism and a Democratic House Majority that puts people over politics and delivers results to help them get ahead.


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