Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Pledge To America: Just The Promises

Your checklist to see if they keep their word.

There are a lot of policy and intention statements included in the Republicans' 48-page "Pledge to America" document. Here is a list, from that document, of just the real, verifiable, specific promises that we will actually be able to say they kept or broke. The rest is just meaningless, feel-good patter, full of fog and weasels:

JOBS

* We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases, currently scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011.

* We will allow small business owners to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their business income.

* To provide stability, we will require congressional approval of any new federal regulation that has an annual cost to our economy of $100 million or more.

* The Democrats' government takeover of health care requires small businesses to report to the Internal Revenue Service any purchases that run more than $600. We will repeal this job-killing small business mandate.

SPENDING

* Congress should move immediately to cancel unspent "stimulus" funds, and block any attempts to extend the timeline for spending "stimulus" funds.

* With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels,

* We will set strict budget caps to limit federal spending on an annual basis.

* We will make Congress do more with less by significantly reducing its budget.

* Over the course of nine weeks, YouCut produced proposals to save taxpayers more than $120 billion. We will continue to hold weekly votes on spending cuts.

* We will cancel the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)

* We will reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by ending their government takeover, shrinking their portfolios, and establishing minimum capital standards.

* We will impose a net hiring freeze on non-security federal employees

* More than 20 states have addressed this problem by requiring that programs end - or "sunset" - by a date certain. We will adopt this requirement at the federal level to force Congress to determine if a program is worthy of continued taxpayer support.

* Requiring a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, setting benchmarks for these programs and reviewing them regularly, and preventing the expansion of unfunded liabilities.

HEALTH CARE

* The new health care law kills jobs, raises taxes, and increases the cost of health care, we will immediately take action to repeal this law.

* We will enact common-sense medical liability reforms to lower costs, rein in junk lawsuits and curb defensive medicine.

* We will allow individuals to buy health care coverage outside of the state in which they live.

* We will improve HSAs by making it easier for patients with high-deductible health plans to use them to obtain access to quality care. We will repeal the new health care law, which prevents the use of these savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicine.

* We will expand state high-risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage. We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate annual and lifetime spending caps, and prevent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick.

* We will establish a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and subsidies for insurance coverage that includes abortion. We will also enact into law conscience protections for health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals.

CONGRESSIONAL REFORMS

* We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives.

* We will require each bill moving through Congress to include a clause citing the specific constitutional authority upon which the bill is justified.

* We will let any lawmaker — Democrat or Republican — offer amendments to reduce spending.

* We will end the practice of packaging unpopular bills with "must-pass" legislation to circumvent the will of the American people. Instead, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time.

NATIONAL DEFENSE

* No more troop funding bills held up by unrelated policy changes, or extraneous domestic spending and pork-barrel projects.

* We will prevent the government from importing terrorists onto American soil.

* We will work to ensure foreign terrorists, such as the 9/11 conspirators, are tried in military, not civilian, court. We will oppose all efforts to force our military, intelligence, and law enforcement personnel operating overseas to extend "Miranda Rights" to foreign terrorists.

* We will work to ensure critical funding is restored to protect the U.S. homeland and our allies from missile threats from rogue states such as Iran and North Korea.

* We will work to ensure the government aggressively and effectively implements the sanctions [on Iran] with the tools Congress has provided.

* We will ensure that the Border Patrol has the tools and authorities to establish operational control at the border and prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from interfering with Border Patrol enforcement activities on federal lands.

* We will reaffirm the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of all federal immigration laws.

* We will require the Department of Homeland Security to review all visa applications at high-risk consular posts and prevent aliens from attempting to avoid deportation after having their visas revoked.

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