Lame-duck sessions in Congress are abominable. When many members of the voting body are no longer accountable to voters because they’re leaving, that’s usually the worst time to be pushing legislation. But when the lame-duck session precedes a power change, it’s the final opportunity for a party to make an impact. When the opportunity is fleeting, you take it. That’s politics.
Unfortunately, many Republicans on Capitol Hill seem reluctant to get their act together and push conservative initiatives while they still have time. Mitch McConnell wants to push through more judicial nominees. Why? Because it’s a popular move to the base. They love hearing about more originalists confirmed to the various courts of the land.
This is ludicrous. They don’t need the House to confirm nominees and their Senate majority will be larger next session. There’s absolutely no good reason for McConnell to be pushing confirmations during the lame-duck other than solidifying his reputation as a confirmation king. I’ll acknowledge he’s been very effective so far with judges, but he can be just as effective doing it next year. Instead, he’s squandering time and efforts on it now.
The other big time-waster is the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, the First Step Act. If it’s bipartisan, it can be passed when the Democrats take control of the House in January. Why in the world would that be a top priority during the lame-duck session? It’s not a slam dunk among Republicans with a handful wanting public debate that will cost them precious time. If it can pass in the future, they need to put it off until then.
Don’t even get me started on the Mueller “protection” bill. Even if we ignore the Constitutional ambiguities associated with it, we can’t ignore the fact that outbound Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is the one pushing for it from the Republican side. His threat? Holding up confirmations. McConnell’s response should be, “go for it.”
The judges can be confirmed on the other side of the break.
What should Republicans be doing over the next 2-3 weeks? First, they need to get their priorities straight. Then, they need to inform everyone that Christmas break is on hold until they get their agenda complete. Longer hours and working weekends are required.
Does that sound too harsh ahead of Christmas? Boo hoo. These are representatives who have done such a foul job while they had control of both chambers of Congress that one of those chambers was taken away from them. They screwed up the last two years despite a small handful of victories, and now they want to rush home to be with their families. I have no sympathy for them. Do your jobs. Set your priorities and get to work.
Here are those priorities. There should be more, but we can’t expect so much from the incompetent band on Capitol Hill. Keep it simple and they might be able to get it done.
Priorities during lame-duck session
Senator Ted Cruz seems to be one of the only Republicans calling for conservative measures to be taken before they lose control of the House. He’s absolutely right and has listed many things he’d like to see accomplished before they go home for the rest of the year.
We can’t expect them to get many things done, but at the very least they need to do these three things:
Fund the wall. Period.
Heck, if they can do this I’d actually be only mildly upset if they missed everything else.
Here’s the reality. If they do not fund the wall now, there is zero chance soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will do anything but laugh at funding it in the future. This is the last chance for the next two years at least.
Fund the wall. President Trump has threatened to shut down the government if they don’t. Let’s not test him. Just fund the damn wall like you promised through two elections now..
Cut taxes again
They did it once. They can do it again. It worked the first time. It’ll work again. This should be a no-brainer, unless somehow they believe Pelosi has changed. She’s never seen a tax she thought was too high.
Stop using taxpayer dollars to murder preborn babies or fund Democrats’ election campaigns
The federal dollars given to Planned Parenthood aren’t allocated for abortions or giving money to Democratic election campaigns. Those dollars come from different accounting lines.
Guess what. If they defund Planned Parenthood, that money will get replaced by funds that currently go towards killing preborn babies and funding Democrats. It may not be direct funding, but the source of this dollar going to that part of Planned Parenthood is all basic accounting tricks.
Just like the wall and tax cuts, Republicans will not have another chance at defunding Planned Parenthood for at least two years if they don’t do it now.
If the GOP would stop doing the things they can do next year and focus on the things they can only do while they still have control, then maybe they can make an impact. As of now, they’re acting like they’re ready to throw in the towel.
What the partial government shutdown reveals about American’s finances
The partial government shutdown has been going on for nearly a month, with no end in sight. About 800000 government workers, according to politicians, are essentially getting paid not to work, but their paychecks won’t come until after the partial shutdown is over. Politicians are using this plight to tug at the general public’s heartstrings in the direction of their agenda. However, every politician and almost every media outlet is ignoring truth, to avoid offending people.
The truth of the matter is: if a person doesn’t have enough money saved up for such a time as this, they suck with finances. If a family is woefully unprepared for an emergency situation, they suck with money. These are objective facts, even Biblical. However, I do not write this to shame those 800000 government workers. After all, the crocodile tears of politicians would be wholly ineffective, if the average American could not see the horror is a month’s wage deferred. American’s finances are in disarray to put it mildly. NBC News reported how majority of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
Though the parameters of what constitutes a livable wage varies greatly according to where you live, these staggering statistics show just how few of us have the means to make ends meet. Depending on where they live, even people who earn $100k per year say they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, and 59 percent of people making that kind of money admitted to carrying debt. Of those 59 percent, 56 percent say they’re heavily in debt.
And that emergency stash of six month’s pay that experts keep saying we should put away? For more than half of us, it’s just not feasible. According to this survey, 56 percent of us can barely save $100 per month. All things considered, when you break it all down, most of us are just one misfortune away from financial oblivion.
Yet despite the woeful unpreparedness of most Americans to finance an emergency, Americans spend. We have the latest IPhone, subscribe to Amazon Prime, have $200 doorbells on our homes, dine at fast casual restaurants, and drink Starbucks. And despite mandatory financial literacy classes in many schools, we push young people to pursue a six figure education. A recent survey done by YCharts found that nearly two-thirds of millennials aged 22 to 37 believed that they would have seven-figure wealth by the age of 45 or sooner. While seemingly outlandish, this study presented a more optimistic view of the generation’s finances than one might expect. Though with similar spending habits as Gen Xers, it’s overoptimistic to think this generation doesn’t overspend.
We often joke about Congress not balancing the budget like normal people run their finances. Yet in a country and culture of fiscal irresponsibility, it should be unsurprising, though disappointing, that there’s 21 trillion dollars worth of debt.
A reminder to GOP lawmakers from Justin Amash
When Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) hadn’t been in Washington DC for very long when he said this amazing quote. At the time, many weren’t paying much attention. After all, many Republicans say similar things when they get to DC, but over time they become jaded, corrupted, or start to get used to being in the DC Country Club.
Amash is different. He has remained consistent with his message and views throughout his career. Now, it’s time for other Republicans to remember what they were sent to Washington DC to do in the first place. Defense of the Constitution is their top priority as it’s the best protection against a government that wants desperately to control every aspect of our lives. From healthcare to the internet to how we use our energy, government intervention has become so commonplace, it’s often hard to see the fabric of our nation behind all the layers of bureaucracy that has been placed on top of it.
“I follow a set of principles, I follow the Constitution. And that’s what I base my votes on. Limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty.”
If more Republicans followed the same principles and didn’t just use them in campaign speeches, we may actually be able to return liberties that have been taken and remove layers of government that have been formed unnecessarily.
Larry Elder, Sean Hannity discuss the shutdown
Radio host Larry Elder joined Sean Hannity on Fox News tonight to break down the government shutdown. Elder pointed out that President Obama was being urged by advisers, including Rahm Emmanuel, to abandon Obamacare, but Nancy Pelosi urged him to go big or go home.
Later, they discussed the Speaker of the House’s refusal to meet with Angel Moms. Elder asked what she would say to them. Hannity said she should have given them condolences for their losses.
The talking heads on Fox News keep repeating the same narratives, but it’s not working. This is an example of mainstream media playing to the base by repeating the narrative for cheers from the crowd but failing to present better information the Republican base can use to argue for the border wall.
Many on the right, particularly in media, are failing to make a compelling case for the wall. They need to adjust their talking points if they really want their audience to help sell the idea to the rest of America.
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