House GOP 2014 agenda starts with blank state

Cantor, a Virginia Republican who is in charge of the House floor and the legislation that reaches it, is beginning to lead a reimagining, of sorts, of GOP economic policy. The agenda could help show that the GOP can solve problems instead of only serve only as perpetual combatants with President Barack Obama.

Without much fanfare, House Republicans are crafting an election-year agenda that’s meant to target what they believe are the real economic issues facing middle-class Americans — and thereby attract the kind of voters that the GOP and Mitt Romney alienated in 2012. They hope the initiatives will help them hang onto the majority in 2014 and paint a more positive image of the party.

It’s abundantly clear that a new approach is needed. The 16-day government shutdown was a political disaster for Republicans and drove the party’s poll numbers to new lows. With a dismal legislative record this year, Congress has a 9 percent approval rating. Most Americans vehemently disagree with shutting down the government and placing the nation on the brink of an unprecedented debt default.

Issues discussed at sessions with Cantor and his policy chief, Neil Bradley, include a spike in energy costs, job training programs and education reform.