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Opinion
David A. Hopkins

This Republican ‘Commitment’ Is an Exercise in Redundancy

The House minority leadership’s latest pledge is an attempt to nationalize an election that’s already been nationalized.

A contract became a commitment.

A contract became a commitment.

Photographer: JOSHUA ROBERTS/AFP

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy last week unveiled the Commitment to America, a summary of the agenda for what he hopes will be a new Republican majority in 2023. The policy goals it outlines are a mix of traditional Republican positions (pro-life, pro-gun, pro-military spending) and relatively new priorities, such as promising to “confront Big Tech” and “ensuring that only women can compete in women’s sports.”

In both its name and its intended function, the document consciously echoes the Contract with America, the House Republicans’ national platform from the 1994 midterm elections. (To further emphasize this pedigree, Contract With America architect Newt Gingrich has taken an active role in promoting the Commitment to America.) The Contract With America is well-remembered today because the GOP gained more than 50 seats and majority control of the House immediately after its release, making Gingrich the first Republican speaker in 40 years.