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Zombie K Street Project: The GOP Turns To Lobbyists To Draft Policy Agenda

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Roll Call obtained a letter from Boehner's office to leaders and lobbyists for the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and about two dozen other business groups inviting them to a forum on the Hill to discuss "ways the business community can be an important part of the discussion on America Speaking Out as House Republicans listen and then form a governing agenda."

Democrats are, of course, having a field day with the news, calling on Boehner to broadcast the meeting, and tying it to their broad opposition to the Democratic agenda.

But Republicans wouldn't be doing this if they didn't in some way need to. As it is, their party is riddled by internal fights over what policy direction the party should take, and instead of settling those disputes and coalescing around an agenda, the party leadership has decided to coast on a conservative backlash against the Democrats. Since President Obama took office, they've alternately attacked Democrats and the White House for ignoring them while also distancing themselves, when necessary, from concrete proposals put forth by influential members of their own party.

But Republicans may well retake the House in November, and, in the absence of a governing agenda complete with policy prescriptions, they will have to create one. And in a way its no surprise they've returned to the usual suspects to help them put one together.

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com