Conservatives Divided On GOP’s Policy Goals

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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Conservative leaders are divided over the next steps Republicans should take following the midterm elections, where the party’s performance was below expectations.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri tweeted “the old party is dead,” and blamed the “Washington establishment” for the GOP’s midterm results in an interview with RealClearPolitics. In a Nov. 18 op-ed for the Washington Post, Sen. Hawley made the case for why the GOP “must listen to working people” to rebuild itself.

He slammed the “Republican establishment in Washington” who “capitulated on issue after issue” and “sided with Big Pharma on insulin and advocated lowering tariffs on our competitors overseas” over the past two years. In particular, Sen. Hawley emphasized how for decades the party “cut taxes on the big corporations and talked about changing Social Security and Medicare” and “supported ruinous trade policies” with China.

He went on to criticize Republicans for the party’s positions on a wide range of issues before laying out his alternative vision for the GOP moving forward. Sen. Hawley believes Republicans “must place working Americans at its heart and take them as they are, rather than treating them as resources to be exploited or engineered away. That’s the way to victory. That’s the way to national renewal.” Sen. Hawley’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment. (RELATED: ‘The Old Republican Party Is Dead’: Josh Hawley Lays Out Roadmap For New Working-Class GOP)

Conservative leaders such as Emile Doak, Executive Director of The American Conservative magazine, share a similar vision for what the GOP must become. Doak told the Daily Caller that “Sen. Hawley has put forward the beginning of a bold pro-worker, pro-family agenda that the GOP must adopt. It’s past time for Republicans to present a positive vision that enables working Americans to live lives of virtue in the place they call home. We must get tough on crime and drug abuse, foster American industry, end illegal immigration and significantly reduce legal immigration.”

Doak added “any new GOP agenda must also recalibrate America’s role in the world, and put an end to the era of nation building and proxy wars that aren’t in the national interest.”

Likewise, Oren Cass Executive Director of American Compass, a conservative think tank, believes Republicans “need to provide a positive vision for reshoring manufacturing, building non-college pathways to good jobs, ensuring that workers have power in the labor market, and helping their families make ends meet,” he told the Daily Caller.

Another think tank leader who shares Hawley’s vision is John A. Burtka IV, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), a conservative educational organization. Burtka told the Daily Caller that “the GOP agenda moving forward should focus on policies that strengthen families, promote broad-based economic prosperity, disrupt the higher-education industrial-complex, and negotiate a swift and peaceful end to the war in Ukraine.”

Other conservatives, such as Samuel Gregg, a Senior Research Faculty at free market think tank American Institute For Economic Research, think differently. In a statement to the Daily Caller, he urged conservatives to “resist and reverse the corrosion of entrepreneurship and competition that is pervasive throughout the United States today. Otherwise their economic policies will end up being a pale version of the American left’s economic agenda, which will be of no service to the country whatsoever.”

Mark Calabria, a Senior Fellow at libertarian think tank Cato Institute, has a similar message for Republicans, reminding them that “past policy successes required years of work. Tax reform, for instance, would not have happened in 2017, without the efforts of Representatives Brady and Camp, among others, in the years leading up to eventual passage. The seeds for future pro-growth economic reforms must [be] planted today, if we have any hope of a future harvest.”

Ahead of the midterms, Republicans rolled out the Commitment to America plan to spell out the party agenda. It pledges to deliver “an economy that’s strong, a nation that’s safe, a future that’s built on freedom, and a government that’s accountable” in its preamble. The document goes into further detail about what Republicans would do to achieve each section of the broader plan, with specific legislative proposals laid out on a separate website.

Republicans reclaimed control of the House of Representatives following the midterm elections and will possess a narrow 220-213 majority in the upcoming congress.

So far, Republicans are gearing up for investigations into various policies pursued by the Biden administration and the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the president’s son, NBC News reported. Rep. Jim Comer of Kentucky is set to Chair the House Oversight Committee, and he already announced an investigation into the extent Joe Biden was aware of Hunter’s alleged transactions with individuals closely tied to foreign governments, CSPAN records indicate.

President Biden asserted during his presidential campaign that he has “never spoken” with Hunter about his business dealings overseas, a claim his administration reiterated earlier this year, New York Post reported.