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House Republicans are unveiling their next short-term continuing resolution today to keep the government from shutting down on March 18. It is a three week-extension, $6 billion in cuts with no new policy riders.
Sound good? It’s not. Realize what is going on here. House Leadership unfortunately continues to be gripped by fear of a government shutdown. It is why these short-term extensions do not include any new policy riders, such as the one to deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood or to defund Obamacare. These extensions are carefully calibrated to not prompt a veto threat from the White House.
By fearing a fight that could lead to a shutdown, House Leadership is letting the White House play rope-a-dope with them. The House has spoken. It passed a long-term bill that includes $61 billion in cuts and various aforementioned riders to defund objectionable activities of the federal government. This bill was based on a promise to the American people that Republicans would make a down-payment in the face of a staggering $1.5 trillion deficit, and when the Speaker said, “Read my lips,” he was promising a real fight. Not this.
Allow me to explain what the House Republicans are doing — not that they will ever admit it.
The House Republicans leaders are scared to death of shutting down the government, never mind that a shutdown is really just a slow down.
The House Republicans leaders absolutely, unequivocally do not want a shut down. Mean time, the Democrats would love a shutdown. They remember 1995, and they remember that it was the government shutdown of 1995 that put Bill Clinton back in the driver’s seat.
While all of this is going on, we have Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid saying we cannot defund the National Endowment of the Humanities because no one would show up at a cowboy poetry festival in Nevada.
We also have Senate Republican Saxby Chambliss now saying he’s willing to consider tax increases and unwilling to defund National Public Radio.
With the House Republicans’ unwillingness to shut down the government, they’ve out negotiated themselves. But the leadership and its inability to effectively whip its own freshman means the leadership needs a plan to scare the beejeezus out of Freshman Republicans. That plan requires a three week continuing resolution.
Let me tell you why.
Wednesday the House will consider another Continuing Resolution. Including language to defund ObamaCare is our opportunity to stop the flow of funds to ObamaCare once and for all. Our suggested language is, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, none of the funds made available by this or any previous Act with respect to any fiscal year may be used to carry out the provisions of Public Law 111-148, Public Law 111-152, or any amendment made by either such Public Law.”
Heritage Action for America (my employer), Club for Growth, and Family Research Council released a joint statement announcing their opposition to the three-week continuing resolution on floor of the House of Representatives next week, and their decision to “key vote” the extension on their respective scorecards. In doing so, they joined Mark Levin, Erick Erickson, and others, who are calling for conservatives to step up and lead by blocking this legislation.
Freshman Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas just answered that call. In a bold statement late last night, Huelskamp announced his opposition to the short-term resolution.
On Friday, in its continuing attempt to hand over the American workplace to union bosses at all costs, the union-controlled National Labor Relations Board has thrown employees’ rights under the bus once again. This time, however, the NLRB’s obedience to union bosses could cause employees to get hurt.
It would seem that loyalty to their union masters take precedence over loyalty to the people of Wisconsin. From a contemptible letter written to M&I Bank threatening a boycott:
“The undersigned groups would like your company to publicly oppose Governor Walker’s efforts to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. While we appreciate that you may need some time to consider this request, we ask for your response by March 17. In the event that you do not respond to this request by that date, we will assume that you stand with Governor Walker and against the teachers, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, and other dedicated public employees who serve our communities.
“In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company.”
Now, this would not be a contemptible letter if it were signed by members of private sector unions. Private sector unions work in trades, and they have the right to make informed business choices (and even uninformed ones). But public sector union members are supposedly public servants – and they are expected to avoid even the hint of impropriety in their labor disputes.
The White House Blog, in a post entitled “Expanding Safe and Responsible Energy Production”, lays out the case for the Obama Administration as a long-time supporter of domestic oil and gas:
“One area where we have focused our efforts since the start of the administration – long before this current spike – is increasing responsible domestic energy production – including oil and gas. In fact, oil production last year rose to its highest level since 2003. From 2008 to 2010, oil production from the Outer Continental Shelf increased more than a third – from 446 million barrels in 2008 to an more than 600 million barrels of estimated production in 2010.”
Have these people no shame? (Note: Rhetorical question.)