Congressional Republicans introduced their “Pledge to America” during an event at a lumber store in Sterling, Va., with a document laying out promises to cut taxes and hold down government spending.

As Republicans gear up for the mid-term elections in November, they hope to capture enough seats to win control of the House and possibly the Senate as well. The document is reminiscent of the “Contract for America” that former Congressman Newt Gingrich unveiled in 1994 before Republicans won control of the House from Democrats for the first time in four decades.

Republicans have not been in the majority since 2006, but as they lead in the polls amid dissatisfaction over the economy and high rates of unemployment, they hope to tap into the same well of voter discontent that worked for them 16 years ago.

Among the proposals are encouraging “small businesses to create jobs by allowing them to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income.”

The document also pledges to resist tax hikes, and warns about the impending expiration of the Bush tax cuts. “Undeterred by dismal results, Washington Democrats continue to double-down on their job-killing policies,” said the document. “President Obama is proposing spending billions more on government ‘stimulus’ projects. He also wants to raise taxes on roughly half of small-business income in America. Raising taxes on anyone in a struggling economy – especially family-owned businesses – is precisely the wrong thing to do. Economists agree, as do the American people.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called for permanently extending the Bush tax cuts. "We believe that permanency creates more certainty for taxpayers," he said.


Republicans also pledged to repeal the mandate in the health care reform bill that would require businesses to report any purchases of over $600 to the Internal Revenue Service on 1099 forms.

“This 1099 reporting mandate is so overbearing that the IRS ombudsman has determined that the agency is ill-equipped to handle all the resulting paperwork. We will repeal this job-killing small-business mandate.”

Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., dismissed the Republican pledge. “Congressional Republicans are pledging to ship jobs overseas; blow a $700 billion hole in the deficit to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires; turn Social Security from a guaranteed benefit into a guaranteed gamble; once again, subject American families to the recklessness of Wall Street; and take away patients’ rights,” he said. “Republicans want to return to the same failed economic policies that hurt millions of Americans and threatened our economy. Democrats will protect Social Security, give tax cuts to the middle class and help the middle class through our ‘Make it in America’ manufacturing strategy.  Ironically, the Republican Party that voted against small-business tax cuts enacted into law by this Congress is actually holding its press event at a small business just outside Washington and then racing back presumably to vote against the Small Business Jobs Act, which is crucial to get small-businesses hiring.”

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