Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal yesterday to propose a platform for GOP in the general election, entitled “America’s Choice.” Johnson’s plan “seeks to highlight the differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party led by President Obama,” he writes. “It could do so over the coming months by presenting to the country, through a series of votes in the House of Representatives, the battle between those who believe in broadest terms in limited government and freedom and those who promote government control and dependency.”
Johnson argues Republicans can draw distinctions between themselves and Democrats in several areas: energy, regulation, taxes, health care. While President Obama has delayed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, for instance, “Republicans could propose a plan to utilize crucial domestic resources, including oil, natural gas and coal, to produce energy and create jobs.” And while executive agencies such as the EPA have added to the heavy burden of regulations (compliance costs run somewhere around $1.75 trillion per year), “Republicans could propose a regulatory moratorium to give businesses a chance to recover, and then enact real reform to achieve common-sense regulatory balance.”
Why wouldn’t Johnson introduce this plan in the Senate? His colleague, Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) explains to NRO, “The problem is, we don’t control the Senate.” Portman spoke to Johnson about his proposal yesterday, and he supports it, especially because “five out of the seven things he’s pushing are in my jobs plan,” which he introduced last May.
Instead, Johnson explains in his op-ed, “Once Congress returns from recess later this month, the Republican majority in the House could focus on one major area of domestic policy at a time. . . . When the House debates and passes an agenda item, Republican senators, candidates and conservative groups could concentrate on the same issue, using the same powerful facts and figures to inform and persuade the American public.”
“It’s an attempt to concentrate our voices,” Portman adds.
Ronald Reagan once said the GOP needed to raise a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels, to rally supporters to victory. These freshman senators are taking his advice.