GOP's new midterm idea: A 2014 Contract With America

Sen. John Barrasso, the No. 4 Senate Republican who chairs the Republican Policy Committee, has asked all ranking members of Senate committees to send him legislative proposals they would want to pursue if they become chairmen next year. It’s not clear, at this point, whether the exercise will yield more policy papers or be presented as a unified GOP agenda but Barrasso said it would help showcase a slew of GOP economic ideas either way.

That may not be enough for some in the caucus.

“I think it’s a strategic mistake for our party leadership not to come up with a document that has four or five action items,” Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the House class of 1994, said in an interview. “I’ve tried to allow those in leadership to do this. If they don’t move forward soon, there will be a rebellion among the rank-and-file.”

But the idea has met a cool reception from other senators, including some in leadership such as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who faces a tough reelection race this year. Skeptics say it would be difficult to unite ideologically diverse candidates around a uniform set of ideas and argue the plan would give Democrats a fat target to attack.