Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 and is filed under Elections, Press
Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC, the first national conservative PAC to endorse Matt Bevin in the Kentucky Senate race, released a new web ad highlighting Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) endless debt ceiling increases culminating with the blank check he gave President Obama earlier this month.
To watch Madison Project PAC’s new web ad click here.
“As minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell should have served as a bulwark against President Obama’s demands for a blank check, especially after racking up $6.3 trillion in debt in just five years,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “Yet, not only did McConnell deliver the President the votes for that blank check, he has completely adopted Obama’s false premise about default. With interest payments on the debt hovering around $235 billion per year and revenue exceeding $3 trillion, there is no chance of default, and McConnell knows it. Worse, he is now claiming that acceding to Obama’s demand is tantamount to ‘saving the country!’
“At some point, McConnell owes the people of Kentucky an answer as to when the cycle of endless debt and failed promises will end. McConnell has never shown leadership in reducing the size of government and that is why he cannot be allowed to lead any GOP Majority if conservatives ever hope to change Washington, D.C.”
The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at http://madisonproject.com/
Monday, February 24th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Elections
The unambiguous strategy of the GOP establishment this year has been to avoid any and all confrontation in the hopes of gliding into a Senate majority in 2015. To that end, they have capitulated on all of the major leverage points, passed a number of Democrat spending bills, and are in the process of pushing “small-ball” legislation in the House so as not to rock the boat before November.
This pusillanimous strategy is predicated on the false hope that a bare-minimum Senate majority – comprised of the same Republicans who support these Democrat priorities – will somehow alter the landscape in Washington. They are misleading conservative and GOP activists into thinking that as long as the GOP can hold tight on the status quo until 2015 we will enjoy robust power to push for conservative priorities thereafter.
The reality is that nothing will change in 2015. Irrespective of the outcome in November, Republicans will control the House and have the ability to block bad legislation. On the other hand, President Obama will still be in the White House for another two years. Consequently, the addition of six more Senate seats with the current incumbent leaders and rank-and-file members will not change the legislative dynamic.
Republicans who lack the will or principles to fight on major issues will still use Obama’s obstructionism as the baseline for excuses not to advocate bold initiatives. Whether it’s a debt ceiling or a budget bill, they will fear brinkmanship with Obama as much as they do now.
What about blocking bad bills? Certainly Republicans will have the power to do so if they win back the Senate, won’t they?
Well, they already have the power to stop bad bills with control of the House, yet, time and again, we have seen a de facto Democrat super-majority in the Senate pass harmful legislation only to be rubber-stamped by the House – or at least open for consideration.
Unless we elect the right candidates for Senate, a weak GOP majority would still net enough votes to pass amnesty, an internet sales tax, omnibus bills, highway bills, or the anti-liberty “ENDA” bill.
Moreover, in some respects, these same Republicans will be even more frightened to fight for a bold conservative agenda in 2015. As much as they would have us believe that a GOP Senate-majority is the road to the Promised Land, it will be overshadowed by the presidential election the minute they take office.
If Republicans are recalcitrant to stand for anything ahead of a midterm election, imagine how fearful they will be to even stick their fingers in the wind with the White House at stake.
“Well, we can’t get anything done without the White House anyway,” they will contend. “Let’s not undermine the effort to win the presidency by picking fights with Obama.”
The entirety of the 114th Congress will be driven by fear of 2016.
Ok, but wait until 2017 when Republicans control everything. Then they will really fight for a decisive conservative agenda and will overturn every inimical policy of the Obama administration.
Maybe in some dreamland, folks.
With control of all branches of government, and the undivided responsibility that comes with such power, Republicans will be even more indisposed to roll back big government. “How can we risk losing power?”
Furthermore, let’s remember that many of the same arguments promulgated by Republicans in the minority will persist even when they are in control of the White House. These same hackneyed politicians have already agreed to the Democrat premise of default. So they will feel compelled to raise the debt ceiling even with full control of the government.
The current crew of GOP leaders has already agreed to the Democrat premise on immigration. That will not change when they are in the majority.
They have already accepted the notion of a permanent federal control over transportation and agriculture policy. That will not change when they are in power.
Republicans have made it clear that they will not publicly fight back against the growing anti-religious–liberty agenda forcing alternative lifestyles on private citizens and organizations.
In fact, these same non-leaders tend to be at their best specifically when they are in the minority. The allurement of power only moves them to the left when they are the majority party in Washington.
Hence, whether we are talking about 2015, 2017, or well beyond, there is never an end-game for these politicians. The pursuit of power over principle; the quest for authority for its own sake is a circuitous cycle of failure.
The only way to end the failed cycle of politics is to change the way we approach primaries. This year would be a great time to start.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt
Ever since Senator Mitch McConnell sensed some vulnerability from his Republican base in Kentucky, he has cunningly voted the right way on most major issues, but of course waiting until the outcome was no longer in doubt. McConnell’s painstaking management of his voting record began in two tranches – a mild drift to the right once Trey Grayson was defeated by Rand Paul in 2010 and an acerbic turn after Matt Bevin started toying with a Senate run.
However, despite the shift in his actual voting record, McConnell has continued to artfully advance his real agenda of big government, an agenda which is shared by his puppet-masters on K Street. As the party leader, McConnell sits back on any contentious issue and privately hopes yes while voting no. He has declined to whip the votes; he hasn’t even put out a statement in support of the conservative position until the vote is cast. The desired outcome for Mitch is that the capitulation be made; the bad bill wind its way to the President’s desk, but his hands remain clean of any wrongdoing.
This modus operandi was completely demolished today.
McConnell showed up at the weekly Steering Committee lunch today to berate Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz from pushing the undocumented Democrats to take tough votes. This meeting is traditionally a conservative get-together dating back to when Jim DeMint used to run it. But McConnell and his minions hijacked the meeting and began pointing fingers at Cruz and Lee.
The establishment Republicans wanted to vitiate cloture with a unanimous consent agreement. This would have achieved their desired outcome in which the debt ceiling would pass, but it would be delivered to Obama’s desk with only Democrat votes.
Cruz and Lee had this weird idea that maybe we should actually refuse to give Obama a blank check, especially when Republicans have the votes to stop it. Moreover, Senator Harry Reid has shut down the amendment process in the Senate. Blocking cloture is the only leverage conservatives have to force Democrats to vote on amendments, even if Republicans plan to support the bill in the end. McConnell claims that he just wants to remain idle and coast until the November elections in order to win back the Senate, but ironically, we will never win back the Senate if we don’t force Democrats to take embarrassing votes on amendments. There was no reason this bill needed to pass today; we could have dragged this out into a protracted fight on popular spending cuts. Yet, McConnell wanted to get out of town early and wash his hands of this issue.
After the meeting, McConnell still thought he had enough members to deliver the 60 votes to Harry Reid. But rank-and-file members had enough of McConnell’s cowardly leadership – forcing members to take bad votes that he privately supports while not being man enough to own the policy. After a frenetic effort to get Republicans to flip their votes, McConnell was forced to go down and vote for the crap sandwich himself.
Ask yourself this question: Come this fall, how can you motivate a Republican activist to knock on doors for the purpose of electing a Republican majority that is run by Mitch McConnell?
Well, if we all mobilize to throw out these quislings in the primaries, that question will hopefully become moot.
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 and is filed under Debt, Press
Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC released the following statement in response to Senator Mitch McConnell’s vote for cloture to suspend the debt ceiling and grant President Obama a blank check for another year:
“Ever since Matt Bevin announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell has veered to the right, making sure to vote with conservatives on major issues,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “However, he never whips against bad legislation because he has been in ‘hope yes, vote no’ mode, encouraging other members to vote for more spending while he evinced a conservative image to his voters back home. Today, McConnell was finally forced out of the shadows because he couldn’t find enough Republicans willing to vote for such an irresponsible bill – granting Obama another blank check after he already amassed over $6.6 trillion in debt.
“Today’s vote is a perfect illustration of what Kentuckians have to look forward to if McConnell were to win reelection and no longer fear reprisal from the voters back home. Kentucky voters need to ask themselves the following question: is this the man we want running the Senate if Republicans work hard enough to elect a GOP majority?”
The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at http://madisonproject.com/
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt
If there is any agreement on fiscal issues in Washington it is that we must do something about the growing debt and long-term unfunded liabilities. With the debt exploding by over $6.6 trillion under Obama’s watch, the only leverage conservatives had to force a path to balance the budget was the debt ceiling – a built-in check on runaway spending. Yet, ever since they took over Congress in 2011, establishment Republicans have worked to abolish the debt ceiling.
Moving forward, Republicans have now set a precedent in which the debt ceiling will now be something that must be avoided instead of something we can embrace. With Obama’s record growth of the federal debt and his past statements against raising the debt ceiling, this is precisely the issue to bludgeon him with before an election. But, alas, that opportunity has been lost. All of Boehner’s talk about “the Boehner Rule,” which called for dollar-for-dollar cuts, was lost the day he adopted Obama’s false talking point about default on debt.
What is even more disturbing about the vote to pass the debt ceiling is how many members lacked the courage to vote their convictions. Isn’t it amazing how just enough Republicans voted for it in order for the bill to pass, allowing all but 28 members a free hall pass for their reelection? Even pure liberal like Mike Simpson (R-ID) voted against it for the first time. According to Roll Call, today’s debt ceiling vote had “the fewest number of votes from a majority on a bill that passed the House since at least 1991.”
So here is a direct challenge to all those free-riders who implemented their ‘hope yes, vote no’ policy today. If you really oppose raising the debt ceiling and appreciate the long-term damage from Boehner’s policy, why not call for a new leadership election immediately? There is no middle ground. If you really opposed this deal, it is simply egregious that the sitting Republican leader would pass it with Democrat support. This is the seventh time Boehner has done so over the past year. It only takes about 50 members to call for a leadership election. Now is the time to put up or shut up.
Yet, if you only voted no for political expedience, you are probably just fine with what the Speaker has done today. It’s time to come out of the shadows and document yourselves.
Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is reverting back to his comfort zone of declining to take a strong position on the bill until the outcome is no longer in jeopardy, in which case he will undoubtedly vote no.
We must remember that nothing will change with a GOP-controlled Senate unless we elect new leadership. Democrats already know these guys are terrified of the debt ceiling. So what will happen next March?
The same thing.
They will pass bad bills with Democrats support, all the while ensuring that those with primary challengers are given a pass to vote the right way – for political purposes not principle.
This is just one more reason why we need to A) win the upcoming primaries and B) force new leadership elections. If we fail on both of those accounts all our hard work towards building a GOP majority will go towards the empowerment of Democrat policies.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 and is filed under Debt
In a sane world, President Obama and the Democrats would be on the hook for requesting yet another debt ceiling increase after already racking up record high amounts of debt. Obama is extremely unpopular, saddled with the failures of Obamacare, and accruing more debt than every other president combined. Yet, thanks to self-immolation on the part of the stupid party, it is Republicans who find themselves getting trapped by their own leverage point.
President Bush was a big spender and conducted two major wars during his eight years in office. When Bush was sworn in on January 20, 2001, the gross federal debt stood at $5.728 trillion. On January 20, 2009, the day he left office, the debt had increased to $10.629 trillion, a jump of $4.9 trillion. Just five years later, the gross federal debt stands at a whopping $17.263 trillion. Obama has amassed $6.63 trillion in debt. It took from our nation’s founding until July 2003 for us to achieve that milestone!
Roughly $6 trillion of the Obama debt increase is comprised of the public share (not intra-governmental holdings), which now stands at $12.305 trillion. It took from our nation’s founding until October 2008 to amass that much in public debt.
Now take a step back and cogitate the past statements from the President – prior to his unprecedented expansion of the national debt.
“Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”
Let that seep in for a moment. Now add another $6.63 trillion over five years into the mix.
The debt ceiling, even more than a budget CR, can be messaged in plain language to the average voter. Any responsible person understands that we should not reflexively raise the debt ceiling, eschewing the only tool to force a balanced budget, until we formulate a plan to end the cycle of debt.
And what will happen during the transition phase while we are debating a balanced budget? Will we default?
Once again, let’s review the math of the federal budget.
According to the updated budget projection from the CBO, the Treasury is slated to take in $3.029 trillion in revenue this year. Interest on the debt will cost $233 billion, a mere 7.7% of the massive tax revenue stolen from the private economy. Once that is paid off, there is no default. Period. Anyone who claims we will default is knowingly misleading the public.
What do you do with the remaining funds? You start funding core functions of government and those programs that people are already dependent on.
Social Security (retirement and disability) – $846 billion
Medicare – $505 billion
Medicaid – $298 billion
Defense – $582 billion
Veterans – $85 billion
Those expenditures account for roughly $2.3 trillion. The remaining half trillion can be prioritized as needed for other functions related to homeland security, national parks, or any other limited function. And remember, these numbers are extrapolated over a 12-month time frame. The Treasury would have more flexibility to shift payments for vital services on a week-by-week basis as we work to responsibly downsize the rest of the federal government. Hence, the debt ceiling is a built-in balanced budget mechanism.
Democrats can’t have it both ways. They imposed massive taxation, which has engendered enough revenue to cover the vital functions of government plus all of the entitlements. They can’t tax and borrow. Much like they claimed Obamacare is the law of the land, the debt ceiling is also the law of the land. We already tax; we already borrow. It’s time to force a long-term balanced budget.
Sadly, Democrats can and will have it both ways. Instead of calling out Obama for his debt ceiling mendacity and publicly debunking his irresponsible lie about default, they obsequiously parrot his talking points.
The GOP mantra from Boehner and McConnell over the past few months has gone something like this:
“We are so scared of our own leverage point. We so badly want to avoid default. We absolutely cannot fight on this one, but please, Democrats, can you give us something in return? We don’t know what that ‘something’ should be, but please let us off the hook from using our own leverage point.”
Well, after telegraphing that message to the Democrats for so long, there is not much we can do. At this point, all we can do is defeat these undocumented Democrats in primaries and elect a new cadre of conservative fighters in the primaries – fighters who will telegraph a very different message to our opponents.
Monday, January 27th, 2014 and is filed under Debt, Elections
When we endorsed Matt Bevin against Senator Mitch McConnell, we noted the following about Mitch’s double game:
For years, McConnell has been undermining conservatives in the Senate, even as he evinces the image of a conservative warrior to his constituents. Whenever there is a low-hanging political issue to hit, McConnell is eager to run before a microphone and feign outrage, even when he can’t contribute anything more to the debate. But when some of the most consequential odious pieces of legislation come before the Senate, he is silent or quietly pushing for it.
We see this play out every time we approach a debt ceiling. Before the confrontation is upon us, McConnell strikes a hardline tone and demands spending cuts in return for a debt ceiling increase. Then when we get closer to the deadline, McConnell begins echoing the false notion of default on debt and sells us out.
Watch for a replay in February.
McConnell was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and was called out for the first time on this double game:
WALLACE: After the government shutdown in October, which Republicans took the hit for, you were quoted as saying, “We are not going to threaten default again by attaching conditions.” But more recently, you said you don’t think there’s any chance that a clean, without any condition debt bill could get through the Senate.
So, which is it?
McConnell never really answered the question and just proceeded to mutter something about getting something in return.
As we all know, McConnell can’t answer the question. Once GOP politicians like McConnell state unequivocally that they will never “default on the debt,” they lost the argument. The cat is out of the bag. Democrats will never have any incentive to negotiate on a balanced budget or Obamacare as long as Republicans show their hand and declare that they will give in.
So, do you want McConnell negotiating for you?
Monday, January 20th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, News
On Friday, we all learned the sad news that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) will be resigning from the U.S. Senate next year as he fights his battle against cancer. Coburn has valiantly fought waste in the federal bureaucracy and he will, God willing, fight off this wretched disease.
The impending vacancy in Oklahoma has triggered a special Senate election for this year, with the primary to take place on June 24, 2014. Over the weekend, several expected candidates, including Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), announced they will not vie for the seat, while Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) plans to officially declare his intentions to run later today. We are safe to assume the GOP establishment wants a united front. And if Lankford becomes their anointed candidate, in what is perhaps the most conservative state in the country, color us underwhelmed.
To be clear, Lankford is not a purely liberal Republican and an anathema to Oklahoma like Rep. Tom Cole would have been, had he contested the seat. And in a perfect world – one without a truculent Democrat Party and a treacherous GOP party establishment – Lankford would go with the flow and drift in the proper direction. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Our country, culture, marketplace, and system of government are on fire. If we don’t aggressively reverse the tide of Obama’s 100-year culmination of the progressive utopia, our slide into socialism and moral decay will be immutable. The only way to reverse this trend is to drive straight through the obstructionist bodies of the GOP establishment and the special interest ruling class. Politicians who support the status quo in the way we approach politics and policy are not up for the task.
Rep. Lankford is a quintessential status quo Republican. After just two years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Lankford was groomed for a leadership position, serving as the number six-ranking member in the Boehner-Cantor team. Nobody gets into leadership that quickly if they are bent on fighting the power structure in Washington. He has since served as a conduit for Boehner and Cantor, supporting their debt ceiling increases and funding for Obamacare in budget bills, thereby obviating one of the reasons for Republicans controlling the U.S. House.
Given that Lankford is from Oklahoma and has always had his eye on higher office, he tends to be more careful about his final votes than most other members of leadership. We noticed that Lankford voted for the Ryan-Murray budget deal in December, which busted the spending caps set by the Budget Control Act. Yet, he voted against the omnibus bill last week, even though that bill was directly born out of the December deal. Lankford cited a number of objections, but he knew exactly what the Ryan-Murray deal engendered. Moreover, he voted for the FY 2012 budget in December 2011, which contained similar objections. Clearly, he understood the optics of voting for this leviathan a week before announcing for the Senate seat would not bode well for his campaign.
Moreover, as we’ve noted before, immigration reform is likely to be the most important issue pending before Congress in the coming years. Lankford supports amnesty and is one of those Republicans who believes “doing nothing” (with regards to amnesty, not enforcement) is not an option. More disturbingly, he offered a typical liberal non-sequitur in support of amnesty: “I wouldn’t prohibit forever (people from getting citizenship). I’m a Christian, and restitution and reconciliation’s a big deal. If you do something illegal or inappropriate you should be able to resolve that, face the penalty, clear it and be forgiven.”
Lankford clearly doesn’t understand the broader consequences of our inane cycle of amnesty and will not be down for the struggle against Obama when he pushes it as a dangerous lame-duck president. When Obama issued his illegal administrative amnesty in 2012, all Lankford could muster was a feeble equivocation over whether it was even amnesty: “It is technically not amnesty, and it is amnesty. It’s both. That’s the frustrating part of it.” [CQ, GOP Avoids Taking a Position on New Immigration Enforcement Policy, 6/19/12]
Folks, we have enough of these consummate politicians in the U.S. Senate already. The Senate GOP Conference is even farther to the left than the House GOP. There is no way someone like Lankford will change the country club culture of Senate Republicans; we will be changed by them. Sending another mediocre Republican to the meat-grinder would be a waste of one of the most conservative seats.
Fortunately, Oklahoma is home to one of the most conservative game-changers in Congress. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), which the Madison Project endorsed last year for reelection, was a game-changer when he defeated the sponsor of the NatGas subsidy bill in a primary, he was a game changer when he voted against Boehner for Speaker, and he will be a game changer in the Senate when he stands up to weak-kneed leaders. Lankford is a yes-man for House leadership, and he will be a yes-man for Senate leadership.
We will never change Washington with the status quo.
Bridenstine has too much to offer Oklahoma in the Senate for him to sit this one out. We encourage him to jump in the race and give voice to conservatives.
Friday, January 3rd, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Issues, News, Obamacare
There has been much acrimony and infighting within the Republican Party of late. But in the coming year, there are many upcoming battles that should be able to unite the party, most prominently, the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.
Republicans agree that Obamacare must be repealed and replaced with policies that eliminate the burdensome interventions that drive up the cost of healthcare. And as the national debt continues to soar over $17 trillion, there must be an immediate push to reduce the size of government. That means there is no better opportunity to unite in the fight against both Obamacare and the growing national debt than with the upcoming debt-ceiling deadline in February.
Conservatives will have two key advantages in the fight over the debt ceiling that were missing during October’s budget showdown. First, the messaging over the debt ceiling is much simpler: Everyone understands that as a country we are accruing an irresponsible level of debt. It is more than reasonable to assert that we not raise the debt ceiling until we have a plan to stop this endless spiral. What better way to reduce spending than by cutting funding for the most unpopular entitlement program?
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues, Obamacare
Now that the entire country sees the ten-alarm fire that has set our healthcare system ablaze, Democrats feel compelled to do something. Their Mr. Fix It plans are akin to an arsonist posing for a photo op with a 2-liter pitcher of water to put out the wildfire. Will Republicans continue to pose with them in the photo op or will they kick them aside and smother the fire?
There are two clear observations about Obamacare at this point: it cannot be fixed and it will not collapse on its own. As we are now seeing from the cancelled insurance plans, the industry has been working on revamping the insurance market for three years. Obamacare has already collapsed the healthcare system. It can only be rebuilt by completely repealing the law.
Similarly, the law won’t go away by itself. They will fix the website one day, and the mandates and regulations on insurance will continue to force people into dependency on subsidies and Medicaid expansion. Worse, on the actual healthcare side of the equation, scores of doctors will leave the field of medicine due to the onerous burdens that go well beyond the insurance regulations. Yes, in some sense you can refer to this as a collapse of the system, but that is exactly what Obamacare was designed to do with its inexorable path towards single-payer.
As we’ve said many times, we cannot afford to wait until the website is fixed and the dependency takes root. It’s tempting for Republicans to just sit back and enjoy the polling data, but polling data will not get rid of the law. Polls are not elections. And even 2014 will not save us. In the best case scenario, we will have 51 seats in the Senate with a unified filibuster-strong Democrat minority that, when coupled with the wayward Republicans, will give Senator Harry Reid a defacto majority. Moreover, President Obama will still be president. Waiting until 2017 is simply unacceptable.
In a sane world, Republicans would utilize this time to force the issue on Obamacare using our leverage points, not just to talk about it or help Democrats fix it. One challenge conservatives had with making Obamacare the centerpiece of the October budget showdown (aside for Senate Republicans sabotaging the effort) was that Republicans failed to prep the ground for the fight over the past few years. In fact, thanks to Mitt Romney, Obamacare was not part of the political discourse for an entire two years.
That has all changed over the past month. While we were stymied by fellow Republicans during the actual showdown, we did succeed at restarting the national discussion on Obamacare. The ensuing breakdown of the private insurance market has given us tailwinds like never before. For the first time in Obama’s presidency, even some of the low-information voters have finally realized the failure of Obama and his signature legislation. Moreover, we know now that the shutdown polling was off base and superficial.
Accordingly, it makes no sense why Obamacare should not be a part of the budget discussions. Most people have forgotten or don’t know that the budget impasse was not solved last month. The new budget deadline is January 15 and the new debt ceiling is February 7. The deadline for reaching a budget conference deal is just two weeks after Thanksgiving.
But, alas, we have no leverage. Senator Mitch McConnell has made it clear to Senate Democrats that he would never fight any budget or debt ceiling. They have completely echoed the scandalous Democrat talking points about default. In fact, they have publicly declared that they will lash out at conservatives who try to fight Obamacare and prevent endless increases or “suspensions” of the debt ceiling.
Consequently, even with Obama’s approval rating sinking into the 30s, and Obamacare as toxic as ever, Democrats have no reason to fear the budget deadlines next year. The only points of contention are locking in the sequester cuts that were already locked in and extending super-long-term unemployment benefits for yet another year. When it comes to fighting Obamacare, it’s all hat and no cattle.
At the very minimum, conservatives need to push for two concessions:
- Even if they already surrendered the budget battle, they must secure an agreement from Democrats to pass all of next year’s 12 appropriations bills in regular order and go to conference on each bill individually. This will lay the groundwork for fighting Obamacare in one or two bills without having the rest of the government as collateral damage in a shutdown. That would give us the opportunity, at the very latest, to fight Obamacare right before the mid-term elections without the specter of a full government shutdown.
- Republicans always said they wouldn’t mind fighting just the debt ceiling because there is no direct government shutdown. Well, now is the time to start debunking the myth of default and committing to ending this practice of suspending the debt ceiling law. The debt ceiling fight will coincide with the period of time when American workers begin to receive their first paychecks for 2014. Most people will incur a large bite out of their pay due to the increased withholdings for higher premiums. This will augment the public disquiet that is already brewing from the destruction of private insurance.
Any Republican who blithely ignores Obamacare when it really counts and when we really have leverage does not deserve your vote. Obamacare will not collapse on its own. We must force the fight once and for all – without the full-scale sabotage campaign from the GOP establishment.