In 1994, then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich looked to a State of the Union speech given by President Ronald Reagan and wrote out a “Contract with America.” This was the promise that the Republican Party would, if given the majority in the House that year during mid-terms, enact legislation to not only provide tax cuts, but to also reduce crime and provide economic relief to the middle class. The “contract’ also promised to enact a permanent line item veto, and to pass legislation that would make constitutional amendments to enact term limits on Washington politicians and to require a balanced national budget. Gingrich promised that if the Republican Party won the House majority, they would push this legislation through within the first 100 days of the Congressional session.
Gingrich was given that opportunity as the Republicans did win the House that year, and, with the exception of the constitutional amendment to establish term limits, Gingrich and the Republicans kept their end of the “contract.”
Now, House newcomer Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has proposed a similar new contract with the American people. He’s titled it “The New Contract with America,” and his ideas are modeled on that of Reagan and Gingrich.
Republicans are looking to take the majority in not only the House of Representatives where Cawthorn serves, but also in the Senate. Cawthorn revealed his ideas for the new platform to Fox News Digital; he’s also constructed a video trailer that will soon be making the rounds on social media. Cawthorn says this is an effort to rally support for “America First” policies in what he says is the next generation of conservatives.
Cawthorn told Fox News: “I think this is a definitive roadmap . . .for my generation to reclaim our country. I believe that this is the plan the American people can really coalesce around because this is one that puts people first.”
Cawthorn is twenty-six years old, currently the youngest member of Congress. He was elected to fill the seat previously held by Mark Meadows, who was the Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump. His critics have labeled Cawthorn as “Trump 2.0,” but, by introducing many bills – including one that would send troops to the Southern border if President Biden sends troops to the Ukraine – Cawthorn has proven he is serious about making good choices for his country.
The New Contract for America includes many of the same promises made by Gingrich’s contract – slashing federal funds and replacing the income tax, abolishing the Department of Education, and providing legal protections for fertilized eggs and fetuses by declaring that life begins at conception.
Cawthorn also intends to do something Gingrich’s contract wasn’t quite able to deliver – establish term limits for Congress.
In 1994, when Newt Gingrich proposed his Contract, Republican candidates all met on the steps of Capitol Hill to sign the pledge. 1994 was the year of then-President Bill Clinton’s first mid-term election, and, at the time, Clinton had a fairly large group of critics.
Cawthorn has not only modeled his “New Contract” after Gingrich’s 1994 Contract, but he also asked for Gingrich’s consultation when crafting his ideas. Cawthorn told Fox News that he hopes former Speaker Gingrich will endorse his plan.
Cawthorn’s “New Contract” is something he’s authored with the people in mind. Cawthorn related that he hasn’t yet sought support from top Republican leadership, but, he hopes that with public support, the “New Contract” will also garner Congressional support.
Cawthorn pointed to Gingrich having to get the support of 218 Congressional members in 1994. Cawthorn says that it’s been his experience that going to the people “directly” seems to have the most success. “I personally find it easier to convince 30 million Americans rather than 218 members of Congress to back this piece of legislation, and then use those 30 million Americans to then leverage their own representatives.”
Cawthorn says this contract is the opposite of The Green New Deal.