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GOP's Pledge to America laced with 'tea party' slogans

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Missing also, either in the text or response to questions about it, is any hint that Republicans are open to compromise on a partial or incomplete extension of expiring tax cuts, ideas floated as recently as this month by House Republican leader John Boehner.

“I’ve made clear over the last 20 months, when Republicans were in control of Congress we made our share of mistakes,” Representative Boehner said, responding to questions at a press briefing in Sterling.

But Republicans have demonstrated by their votes that they are serious about cutting back government, he added.

“All of us opposed their stimulus bill twice, all of our members voted against their budget twice, nearly all of our members voted against their energy tax, and all of our members voted against health care. We are very serious about implementing our pledge.”

After decades in the minority, Republicans took back the House in 1994 on a promised Contract with America. Now in reach of taking back the House again, Republicans are defending their record of spending during their last 12 years in power, especially to the tea party activists that have roiled primary contests for incumbents. House Republicans are calling this plan a “pledge.”

"We had a contract. This is new,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R) of Indiana. “I hope people understand it means a commitment.”

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