Ahead of midterms, conservatives lament lack of clear agenda

Particularly among members of the conservative Republican Study Committee, the unwillingness to act more boldly this year on health care—which, they have frequently pointed out, comprises one-sixth of the U.S. economy—is symptomatic of a broader failure to offer a specific agenda that contrasts against the Democrats’ and tells voters what Republicans would do if given more power to govern.

“I fear we’re not going to take the Senate back because we haven’t done anything this past year to show the American people why we are different than the Democrats. We have a lot of speeches, but we really haven’t taken a lot of votes,” Rep. Raul Labrador, an outspoken conservative who launched a failed bid for Cantor’s leadership post, said Thursday at a forum sponsored by the Heritage Foundation.

Labrador continued: “We needed to have an agenda. We needed to have something concrete. One of those concrete things would have been a vote on an alternative to Obamacare. All Americans know Republicans are against Obamacare. The thing they don’t know is what they’re for: ‘What is their plan to replace Obamacare?’ “