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09.08.2014 1

September’s closing argument for election 2014

Bagged_2014By Rick Manning

The final month of Congress before an election serves as the opportunity for each political party to make their closing argument for their election.  With a limited calendar, the Democratic Party controlled Senate and the Republican Party controlled House will each be trying to put their best foot forward to justify being returned to office.

Democrats, in an odd appeal to their formerly civil libertarian base, will be leading off by spending valuable floor time voting on a Constitutional Amendment that would repeal the First Amendment protection on free speech, and replace it with an amendment that guarantees “political equality.”

After a couple of years of railing against Republican donors, Senator Harry Reid and his angry horde will attempt to rally their base voters by allowing Congress to pass legislation restricting political activity.  Effectively ending one of the compelling reasons why the First Amendment right to petition the government was passed.

House Republicans for their part will be working hard to avoid any missteps which might prevent them from winning an election that seems to be in hand.  Desperate to avoid any reminder of the government shutdown from a year ago, they are already waving a white flag by offering a funding bill that is rumored to not mention any of the defunding priorities that were set by the majority in hard fought battles in the late spring and early summer.

Obamacare, the Internet giveaway, HUD regulations that usurp local zoning laws and illegal alien amnesty programs all will likely be funded in a short-term bill designed to get lawmakers through the election without having to make any tough votes.

By pushing the government funding measure early, House Republicans are seeking the high moral ground when Senate Democrats wait until the week before funding runs out to deal with the issue, creating a government funding crisis for the 24/7 news channels to breathlessly cover.

In the interim, there will be saber rattling on both sides denouncing ISIS, Republicans will be jeering at Obama’s failure to allow the job creating Keystone XL pipeline, and Democrats (in non-energy producing states) will be extolling  the virtues of the EPA’s regulatory agenda.

We will predictably hear about wage theft, the minimum wage, and income inequality from the Democrat side of the aisle as they attempt to stir up their base to vote.  Republicans, on the other hand, will simply seek to remind voters that they are not Obama.

When the calendar jumps one month ahead and Congress is adjourned through the election, it is likely that it will all be nothing more than sound and fury signifying nothing.

In the end, this month Congress will remind America why their approval ranking is at an all-time low, and a month later the public will go to the polls and elect almost all of the same people who they claim to despise the rest of the year.

The author is vice president of public policy and communications of Americans for Limited Government.

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