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HARRISBURG — Republicans inside and outside the Pennsylvania government see no signs that the party is shifting its electoral and governance strategies from controversial social issues such as abortion restrictions, despite the disastrous midterm elections. It says it can’t be done.
Some insiders say the trend bodes badly for the Republican outlook.
After losing the marquee race for the governor and the U.S. Senate, not only control of the state legislature (For now it remains contested), Harrisburg Republicans, especially those in the House, seem to have courageously resumed their previous battle plans.
The week after the election, the House of Representatives impeached Philadelphia progressive district attorney Larry Krasner Voting close to party — a rare step, especially since Krasner has not been accused of any crime.
A dozen Conservative MPs in the House also formed the Pennsylvania Liberal Caucus, joining the national network of Conservative MPs. U.S. Congressman Scott Perry (R., PA.) under investigation For his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election, helping launch last month’s effort, say it “People won’t vote for Republicans to come to the State Capitol and negotiate backroom deals with far-left extremists.”
One Republican official spoke on condition of anonymity because he works closely with some of the politicians they criticize. They added they couldn’t see it.
“The Freedom Caucus content is not positive. [Democratic candidates use it against Republican candidates] at these races in the Southeast.
Southeastern Pennsylvania has one of the highest vote counts in the state. Once a stronghold of the Republican Party, the area has become increasingly dominated by Democrats over the past decade. The Democrats performed well in the midterms, ousting longtime Republican Rep. Todd Stevens (R-Montgomery) from the state House of Representatives.
Stevens said he believes this year’s new legislative map, which made constituencies more democratic, caused him and other Republicans to lose — congressional leaders echoed the same theory. . But he added that the map doesn’t account for the Republican Party frontrunner in the statewide election campaign.
Stevens said he believes far-right Republican candidates like Doug Mastriano make it difficult for candidates like him to communicate their more moderate values.
“I think Republicans need to realize that there’s a sizeable population that doesn’t live in rural Pennsylvania and thinks differently about things, especially social issues,” he said. “If they want to compete for suburban voters, if they want to be competitive throughout Pennsylvania, if they think they have to, they have to reconsider some of their policies. It won’t.”
Stevens highlighted several issues that tend to deviate from the caucus, including regulating access to guns, ensuring LGBTQ rights, and maintaining access to abortion.
Shortly after speaking with Spotlight PA, he noted that one of the most socially conservative members of Congress in the state House of Representatives, Rep. shared an article reporting that it has submitted a bill for situation.
“Well,” Stephens wrote in a text message.
Republicans across the political spectrum echoed some of Stevens’ concerns about voters’ perceptions of the Republican Party, criticizing the party for its lack of a propositionable policy agenda over the course of the election campaign. ing.
Last month, Moderate Rep. Tom Mehaphy (R-Dauphine), told Spotlight PA Over the past few years, “the Maison has produced many bad products.” He didn’t give a specific name.
Unofficially, other Republican sources say they opposed the leadership’s decision to force a midnight vote in July on the controversial bundled constitutional amendment. It included several different constitutional changes, including measures to block recognition of the constitutional right to access to abortion, and other measures aimed at enforcing stricter voter ID laws. must.
Forcing legislative Republicans to vote on this proposal brought the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade to the forefront of several constituencies, allowing them to use it against Republican candidates. of additional material was given to Democrats.
But more conservative state representatives are drawing another lesson from the Republican party’s poor performance in the midterm elections: Republicans aren’t pushing their agenda aggressively enough.
State Rep. Aaron Bernstein (R-Lawrence) controversially told Spotlight PA that the leadership was too difficult for some colleagues and the timing wasn’t right He said he would avoid voting on the bill.
But he said the caucuses need to do a better job of turning words into action because voters are “fed up with the status quo.”
“The truth is we should be the party with fiscal responsibility, but we refused to enforce the Taxpayer Protection Act,” Bernstein said, adding that the constitutional amendment to limit state spending to inflation I mentioned the draft. “We are parties to school choice, but we have refused to introduce a comprehensive school choice bill. I did it,” prohibiting the compulsory use of vaccines.
(Bernstine is also listed as a member of the new Pennsylvania Liberal caucus. website.)
Other Republican lawmakers are trying to avoid undue condemnation.
State Senator Dave Argal (Republican, Schuylkill), who chaired Congress’ powerful state committee in the last Congress, said his party “has a lot of power in both our rural and suburban and urban areas. We need to find a message that resonates.”
He has some priorities for 2023. It is to pass a state budget that carefully considers an “uncertain” economy, and to review and update Pennsylvania’s long-debated election law.
Argal laughed when asked if he wanted to spend the legislative period that way.
“We have no choice,” he said. “We have a duty. The House has impeached, and the Senate must proceed accordingly.”
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https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2022/12/pa-election-2022-midterms-republican-agenda-losses/ Intermediate losses are unlikely to change PA GOP positions Spotlight PA