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Republican leader McCarthy to unveil party platform in Pittsburgh; Democrats go on the attack

McCarthy to unveil party platform in Pittsburgh; Democrats go on the attack
McCarthy to unveil party platform in Pittsburgh; Democrats go on the attack 02:52

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is leading a delegation of two dozen Republican members of Congress to the Mon Valley for a major announcement Friday.

Political editor Jon Delano previews what McCarthy is calling the Republicans' "Commitment to America."

McCarthy wants to be the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but first, his fellow Republicans must win a majority of congressional seats this November.

Republicans to unveil 'Commitment to America' plan if party wins majority 01:50

On Friday in Washington County, McCarthy will unveil his "Commitment to America," what his party will do if it takes control of the House.

McCarthy to unveil 'Commitment to America' plan in Pittsburgh area 02:24

While none of the local Republican congressmen — U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly of Butler, Guy Reschenthaler of Peters, and John Joyce of Altoona — were available to discuss the four-point plan focused on accountability, the economy, public safety, and freedom, local Democrats were quick to pan any promises McCarthy makes.

"This is the same gang of people that tried to overturn the 2020 election. Kevin McCarthy has been a big supporter of the 'Big Lie,'" says U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, a Mt. Lebanon Democrat.

"You have to take all that they're going to say with a grain of salt. These are the same people who caused so much chaos on Jan. 6."

Both Lamb and U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, a Forest Hills Democrat, say you just can't trust these Republican politicians.

Doyle calls McCarthy an obstructionist, citing his opposition to the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act, which, Doyle says, is delivering billions of dollars to the Pittsburgh region.

"Kevin McCarthy and every single Republican voted against it. So, it is a mystery to me why they think they can waltz into the Pittsburgh region and somehow make commitments to us that they have no ability to keep," says Doyle.

The "Commitment to America" plan is very much like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" three decades ago. The idea is to tell voters what Republicans will do if they take control of the House of Representatives.

Both Doyle and Lamb criticized the Republican pledge to withdraw the government from negotiating lower drug prices for seniors and others.

"I think that's a straightforward case of political corruption," says Lamb. "I think big pharma companies have been bribing politicians for a couple of generations now."

The GOP plan calls forcing pharmaceuticals to lower drug prices a "Democrat socialist drug takeover," something Doyle says every other country and the Veteran's Administration have been doing for years.

"We're trying to do the same thing through Medicare, and in the Inflation Reduction Act, for the first time, we're able to start negotiating with the pharmaceutical industry for better prices for our seniors," says Doyle.

Democrats also attacked the Republican plan for its pledge to "defend the unborn, fight for life."

"They obviously want to pass a national law to restrict a woman's rights to make decisions about their own health care," says Doyle.

Doyle says if Republicans win control of Congress, they will outlaw abortion in all 50 states.

"They want to make sure there's a national law that covers all fifty states. It's a terrible idea, and it just gets back to the fact that we shouldn't have governments telling women how to make choices on their healthcare decisions. That should be between a woman and their doctor," says Doyle.

Again, KDKA-TV reached out to Kelly, Reschenthaler, and Joyce – and the House Republican Conference – for a response, but they appear to be waiting for Republican Leader McCarthy to speak first Friday morning.

KDKA-TV has also learned this is an official government event, meaning taxpayers will pay for it.  That also means local Republican candidates running for Congress in the two open seats in this region will not be a part of the program. 

In a sign of the national attention this issue is getting, Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will also be in Pittsburgh at the same time to offer his rebuttal.

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