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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

So, Whose House is it Anyway?

Last year, the American people voted overwhelmingly for a Republican House of Representatives.  Based upon their campaign pledges, the prevailing expectation of a “Republican House” was a body of revitalized Republicans who would not fund Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, downsize Freddie/Fannie, oppose appropriator-concocted omnibus bills, and fight for at least some of their priorities in the Ryan budget.

A year later, the prevailing sentiment amongst the GOP ruling class within the House is antithetical to those ideals.  First it was the minibus; then it was the omnibus; now there’s talk about a megabus (coupled with unemployment benefits and tax extenders).  Instead of demanding that Democrats pass a proper budget and allow both chambers to vote on one bill at a time, they are willing to genuflect before Harry Reid and Senate Democrats.  The fact that we are running late on appropriations is not the fault of Republicans, and the American people know that.  Why reward Democrats for their insouciance towards our budget process by granting them all the major policy riders and spending levels?

Yet, astoundingly, House appropriators are blaming conservatives for weakening their leverage.  They bemoan how they are forced to seek Democrat votes in order to pass…Senate Democrat bills.  The million dollar question is this: if they are demanding that we support Democrat bills in order to pass the House without Democrat support, what sort of leverage are they trying to achieve?  Here is the latest from Roll Call:

 “I’d guess we’ll see another 100-plus Republicans vote ‘no’ on the megabus. This is apparently the new governing coalition on major items: Most Democrats plus Republicans who still trust leadership that they’ll eventually do the right thing,” a GOP House aide said. […]

From the perspective of Republican appropriators, their party’s negotiating position was weakened when 101 Republicans voted “no” on the recent three-bill minibus.

“Without sufficient Republican votes, Labor-HHS will have to pass with Democrat votes and with Obamacare funding in it,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), adding, “If Republicans stick together, we’ll be in a much stronger position on Labor-HHS.”

Asked whether Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is prepared to bring legislation to the House floor that would fund the president’s health care law and that would pass with mostly Democratic votes, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel declined to comment.

So giving Democrats everything they want on all the fundamentals – the same fundamentals that propelled the GOP into power – is the new strategy for….gaining leverage against Democrats.  And we are to believe that it is our enthusiastic support for the 2010 Republican platform, pledge, and budget that is handing control of the House to Democrats. Has the political parlance been turned upside down?  When you need Democrats to pass your legislation, maybe you should look in the mirror when assigning blame.

Moreover, how much longer are we going to shirk from a direct confrontation over defunding Obamacare?  Are we really going to place all of our aspirations in the capricious hands of Anthony Kennedy?  And even if he agrees to overturn the individual mandate, it is likely that the rest of the bill will remain intact to destroy the healthcare system.

Well, you might ask, if the individual mandate is repealed, won’t the rest of the bill be rendered unfeasible?  Yes, but it is already unfeasible, yet the Democrats don’t care.

Well, it would be politically unfeasible, you might retort.  Yes, but it is already a political loser, yet the Democrats still refuse to repeal it.

The bottom line is that we will, most likely, need to defund Obamacare, and eventually repeal it.  The longer we wait; the longer we refrain from using our real leverage to defund it, the more we lose our moral clarity and righteous indignation against it.  After all, if it really will destroy the economy and permanently reshape our country, how can we allow it to remain funded for even one day?

It is conservatives who are the true “team players” – willing to remain on the battlefield and fight for what we all coalesced around during the elections.  Whose House is it anyway?

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