Republicans are just days away from halting candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 plan to fundamentally transform the United States of America.
Republicans now hold the majority in the Senate 54-44-2 and have increased its hold in the House to 246-188.
Even though the president continues to arrogantly flaunt the possession of the veto pen, the euphoria over the GOP’s decisive mid-term win is still high.
Yes, there are those who are concerned with the split within the party between the more conservative Tea Party and traditionalists. More importantly, however, is the concern many of us have over the ease in which Republicans compromised in the passage of the so-called “Cromnibus” spending bill.
“We are going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path,” said Speaker John Boehner, referring to illegal amnesty, “this is the wrong way to govern. This is exactly what the American people said on Election Day they didn’t want”
We also heard Boehner talk about how the Democrats crafted ObamaCare behind closed doors, his references to the “broken institution,” and “what our constituents want.”
“If, in fact, the president’s actions on immigration are against the Constitution and the rule-of-law,” asked the Washington Times’ Joseph Curl, “then why would the GOP cave in on the budget negotiations and actually allow them to be funded?”
Although the funding only continues through February 2015, support for the bill, in my view, validates the president’s executive action.
Twenty-four Republicans voted for the “Cromnibus” spending bill, including the new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Voting “no” were some high-profile senators who are sure to continue the fight for returning some sanity to government – Cruz, McCain, Rubio, Scott, and Sessions. More Democrats (21) than Republicans (18) opposed the bill.
So where was that fighting talk when funding for ObamaCare and illegal immigration were included in a bill that calls for more spending than what the government anticipates bringing in as we see a 70 percent increase in the national debt since Obama took office? I suspect they wanted to avoid the negative signal a shutdown would send going into their majority year.
Despite this disappointing end to 2014, there is reason to be hopeful for success by the 114th Congress. Remember all those bills the House passed only to be ignored by Sen. Harry Reid? Ten of them had notable bipartisan support in the House. Significant numbers of Democrats voted with Republicans on delaying the ObamaCare employer mandate; to expand access to charter schools; to improve patient reform; and expediting approval of liquefied natural gas exports. Of the more than 2,000 amendments quite evenly introduced by Republican and Democrats, Reid blocked all but 19.
The Keystone XL pipeline, trade and tax reform appear to be high on the GOP agenda. In addition, there must be meaningful action on ObamaCare. The GOP needs to go deep into this failed program, beyond the no-brainer of repealing the medical-device tax.
McConnell spoke of a return to regular order in the Senate in his press conference after the mid-term win. The decision on the “nuclear option” will signal the direction the party heads as it maps an agenda for 2016. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the presumptive Senate Pro Tem, apparently isn’t interested in letting bygones be bygones, urging colleagues not to undo the procedural change instituted by Reid. “We should teach these blunderheads that they made a big mistake,” said Hatch.
As much as I agree with Hatch, I believe it’s time to restore statesmanship to the Senate.