Former Vice President Mike Pence met with a group of Republican members of Congress Wednesday on Capitol Hill to outline his vision for a House GOP agenda if the party wins a majority in the lower house in November.
Pence detailed his “freedom agenda” to a room of dozens of members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), of which he once served as chairman before becoming governor of Indiana and later vice chairman.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a fellow Hoosier and the current RSC chair, spoke to Breitbart News in an interview after attending the private RSC event. Banks said political leaders like Pence, as well as others in the potential 2024 arena such as Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) or former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, were drawn in to meet the huge 168-member caucus that is “the heart and soul of the Republican Conference”.
The RSC is “building the road map of what Republicans need to do not just to win back a majority, but to save our country and retain a majority for a long time to come,” Banks said, adding, “And our Republican voters and leaders, we We are all hungry for substantive leadership, and the RSC is providing it like never before, and especially at this important time.
— RSC (@RepublicanStudy) July 20, 2022
Pence’s appearance comes as rumors about former President Donald Trump making an early announcement for a third presidential bid intensify, and much in the media, such as the New York Times and CNN, remain hyper-focused on Pence and Trump’s relationship regarding the 2020 controversies over alleged voter fraud and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“This morning’s meeting was not about January 6. It wasn’t even brought up, except for a comment that has already been leaked,” Banks clarified, referring to multiple reports that the rep Chip Roy (R-TX) stood up during the event. and thanked Pence for “defending” the “Constitution” in January 2021.
Banks said of Roy’s comment: “That exchange at our meeting this morning was a blip. It was very small. It was like a second of an hour-long dialogue on our program when we get back the majority.
Banks said Pence pointed to his 28-page freedom agenda, which Politics first published in March. The ambitious three-pronged plan sets out policies for American culture, opportunity and leadership, and covers nearly every major issue, from border security and energy costs to crime, education, abortion, labor, taxation, manufacturing, etc.
A Pence adviser joked to Breitbart News that the plan does not include any tax increases, a comment that comes after Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), the chairman of the Republican campaign arm of the Senate, released an 11-point plan. with a controversial tax increase provision.
Scott’s plan was also criticized by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as unnecessary at the time of its release.
Banks said that in “obvious contrast to the Senate,” Pence made it clear to House lawmakers on Wednesday that following an agenda creates a “mandate” to push that agenda forward. “If you don’t count on anything, you have a mandate to do nothing,” Banks said, adding that the contrast with the Senate will become even “more apparent when Leader McCarthy rolls out our Republican agenda in the House,” which McCarthy plans to do in September. .
Pence has remained active in the political arena since leaving the White House, campaigning for candidates, attending speaking engagements and visiting early primary states in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Pence’s meeting with the RSC comes just after the former vice president appeared at a rally Tuesday night with several of McCarthy’s “young guns” congressional candidates, and just before he delivered a speech on the after-deer America in South Carolina on Wednesday night and attend campaign events in Arizona on Friday.
Pence, who is staunchly pro-life and pro-family, spoke Wednesday during his speech at Florence Baptist Temple about the “new chapter in American history” after deer to be “relegated to the ash heap of the history to which it belongs”, according to a copy of his remarks.
Friday in Arizona, Pence will campaign for Karrin Taylor Robson, the same day and in the same state that Trump will organize a rally for Robson’s main opponent, Kari Lake. The competing events will create a closely watched split-screen moment depicting the proxy wars unfolding before 2024 between Trump and various other GOP factions.
Pence remaining so strategically involved and influential has perpetuated speculation that Pence could run — potentially against Trump — in the 2024 presidential primary, but Pence’s adviser said the former vice president was laser-focused on the midterms of 2022, which largely dictate how Republicans fare in 2024.
Banks said Pence only praised the Trump agenda and the Trump-Pence administrative lawsuits during the RSC meeting.
Banks also noted that the RSC plans to work with Trump himself on plans to advance Trump’s America First agenda and told Breitbart News on Friday that the RSC would actually meet Trump at his residence in Bedminster, New Jersey, early August.