10.28.2014 0

McCarthy: ‘Prove we can govern’

kevin_mccarthyBy Robert Romano

The midterm elections are just a week away, and with most predicting a Republican sweep on November 4, House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy is setting his sights on the 2015 governing agenda.

But before a new Congress is sworn in, the government’s funding for FY 2015 is due to run out on December 11, and Politico’s Jake Sherman reports “[McCarthy] would like to use the lame-duck session to pass a long-term government-funding bill, so Washington can begin focusing on big-picture legislating, instead of just trying to keep government’s doors open.”

Meaning, rather than passing a short-term continuing resolution in December, McCarthy intends to fully fund the government through Sept. 30, 2015. No defunds.

“If we are fortunate to have both majorities, take away any cliff you can have hanging out there,” McCarthy told Sherman, adding, “If you have a cliff, it takes attention away. Why put cliffs up that hold us back from doing bigger policy?”

McCarthy warned a group of Long Island donors, “I do know this. If we don’t capture the House stronger, and the Senate, and prove we could govern, there won’t be a Republican president in 2016.”

In McCarthy’s eyes, then, by implication, pushing funding for 2015 into the new Congress would stop Republicans from governing next year, and it might prevent Republicans from winning the election in 2016.

Yet, to some conservative observers on Capitol Hill, House Republicans are effectively ceding the congressional power of the purse.

“While we appreciate Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s intent to avoid a funding fight in early 2015, allowing the Democratic-controlled Senate to dictate government funding terms even after they have likely been defeated is a mistake,” said Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens.

Mehrens declared, “Throwing away this power to stop the most misguided of Obama’s initiatives through the defunding process, cedes the only realistic tool this Congress has to check the President’s excesses, and would negate the mandate of the people to halt the lawlessness of this administration.”

Mehrens is right. The only changes to the budget have occurred, such as sequestration, to rein in the out of control spending were though the continuing resolution and debt ceiling processes. So why would the House cede its only leverage?

“Over the past four years, the only major advances toward fiscal sanity have been made through the government funding process and to throw away the only legislative tool that the President respects is to declare defeat before the new Congress is even seated,” Mehrens concluded.

Whereas, putting the continuing resolution into early 2015, should Republicans win the Senate, would provide the opportunity to defund things like the Internet giveaway, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) forcing of municipalities to build low-income housing smack in the middle of suburban neighborhoods, and detrimental Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on coal plants.

Consider, the HUD regulation actually went into effect this month. Transferring control over the Internet’s domain name system and assigned numbers functions from the Commerce Department will be done by September 30, 2015 when the current contract expires. The EPA coal regs will be in effect by June 2015.

If these items are not defunded via the budget process in December, then they will be fully funded in 2015. And there will be no stopping Obama.

Let’s hope that Jake Sherman’s reporting at Politico was merely a trial balloon that can be easily popped rather than a definitive policy before the American people have even voted.

Republican governance should not mean acquiescence to Obama.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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