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House Republicans frame Youngkin win as a rejection of Biden agenda

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 11/3/2021 Kate Scanlon
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House Republicans framed Republican Glenn Youngkin’s election as governor of Virginia as a message from voters rejecting President Joe Biden’s agenda.

Youngkin defeated his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, as part of a Republican sweep of the commonwealth in a race that was seen as a bellwether for next year’s midterm elections.

House Republican leadership characterized Youngkin’s win as a rejection of “big-government socialism.”


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday that Youngkin’s election should be a “wake-up call” for Democrats to abandon their “extremist agenda.”

McCarthy praised Youngkin for “running on issues” and not “bringing past politicians in,” in what appeared to be a reference to former President Donald Trump, whom Youngkin kept at arm’s length during his campaign, neither fully embracing nor rejecting his support. Asked by reporters if Trump’s endorsement contributed to Youngkin’s win, McCarthy became combative, arguing “the media” would rather talk about Trump than Republican victories, and did not answer whether he sees Trump as a key ingredient to Republican electoral victories.

House Republicans said the party's victories in Virginia should give Democrats pause in pursuing a sweeping social spending package that remains under negotiation. Congressional Democrats have yet to come to a full agreement on the size and scope of the bill or whether it should be brought up for a vote in tandem with a bipartisan infrastructure bill already approved by the Senate.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said if Democrats do not change course, “they’re going to go the same way as Terry McAuliffe.”

“I think they’re going have a reckoning that it’s time to start working with Republicans on solutions that actually address crises and problems that families are facing,” Scalise said.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik said, “The question now is, will Washington Democrats finally wake up and listen to the American people, who have rejected this far-left agenda? Unfortunately, what we’ve seen is the answer is no.”

In a Tuesday evening memo to his conference, McCarthy wrote, “Americans want a change in leadership, and Virginia is just the first step.”

In the memo, McCarthy argued that “the McAuliffe Playbook is exactly what we have seen from the Biden administration and Nancy Pelosi’s House Majority this entire year.”

“Instead of working to address rising gas and grocery prices, increasing burdens on local businesses, chaos at our southern border, and an influx of crime, Democrats have refused to listen to and learn from the people. They’ve wasted months scheming up a partisan, multi-trillion dollar spending bill that will raise taxes on hardworking taxpayers and exacerbate many of these very problems,” it continued. “But Republicans are listening. We are committed to solving the day-to-day challenges facing Americans. Our commitment: safety in our neighborhoods and communities, improving an education system that prepares all students for college, careers, and real life, and rebuilding the strong, stable economy we know our country is capable of achieving.”

Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks sent a similar memo on Tuesday evening, arguing the results in Virginia show “one thing is abundantly clear: Voters have rejected the Biden agenda.”

Banks argued Republicans should message on four issues he said led to Youngkin’s victory: making the concerns of parents “a tier 1 policy issue for Republicans,” rejecting “mandates” over issues such as masks and vaccines, increasing funding for law enforcement in an effort to “back the blue,” and focusing "on the failures of the Biden economy.”


Banks credited Youngkin’s victory to “focusing on the issues,” arguing those issues were “the same set of issues that the RSC has been touting since January.”

“And none mattered more in Virginia than the concerns of parents,” Banks wrote, adding, “Republicans can and must become the party of parents.”


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Tags: News, Glenn Youngkin, Virginia, Joe Biden, Terry McAuliffe, Steve Scalise, Elise Stefanik, Republican Party

Original Author: Kate Scanlon

Original Location: House Republicans frame Youngkin win as a rejection of Biden agenda


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