11.20.2014 1

The Limp Duck Congress?

.Cartoon - Cruz Vs Establishment - 600

By Rick Manning

Remember the good ole days of late October, 2014?

Those were the days when House Republicans were rallying the troops in opposition to Executive Amnesty promising if only they were elected they could save the Constitution from a Barack Obama intent on ripping it to shreds.

Now, less than three weeks after their historic election, the House leaders have another message.

Never mind.

Collapsing faster than a circus tent in a hurricane, House Republicans who claimed that they would use the power of the purse to rein in Obama, now are cringing in fear over another dreaded “government shut down.”

Here’s a news flash.  It is these exact set of esteemed leaders who, in September, decided that it was a good idea to fund the government through December ensuring that there would be a lame duck where their corporate cronies would be able to put all their ornaments on a Christmas tree funding bill without electoral pressure.

Now, this lame duck strategy is biting them in their feathered behinds as they have given Harry Reid one more bite of the apple with Republicans in a position of weakness.

What’s worse is that rather than fight for a defund Executive Amnesty strategy, they have instead vaulted away from this promise because apparently it is too hard.

This past Wednesday, the House Appropriations Chairman (who was just reappointed so you know that Speaker Boehner approves) revealed to Republican members that they could cut the money for Executive Amnesty out of the appropriations after the fact using a rescission.  Of course, anyone who has been in town for the past twenty years surely remembers that the President has to sign a rescission.

Does anyone believe that President Obama is signing a bill to take money away from implementing his already funded Executive Amnesty?

After that flailing attempt to derail the defund effort went off the tracks, the Appropriations Committee told everyone that they couldn’t defund the Amnesty because it was self-supported by fees.

Whoa is me, they cried, we’d really like to stop this mean old amnesty but there really isn’t anything we can do, after all the spending is mandatory.

Anyone believing this drivel should be run out of town on a rail.

First and foremost Congress authorized the expenditure of those fees, just through a different formula than the Appropriations bill.  As a result, Congress can de-authorize the use of those fees for that purpose using the same funding process.

Secondly, Congress can dictate that no desk, office, cubicle, computer, typewriter, copy machine, mimeograph machine, vehicle or anything else that is the property of the U.S. government shall be used in enforcing this illegal Executive Amnesty action.  On top of this, the federal government can deny any federal employee implementing the Executive Amnesty any of the federal benefits, including salary, pension payments and health care that comes with being a federal worker.

You want to work implementing an Unconstitutional shredding of the separation of powers, feel free to do it from your own home and on your own dime.

Yet, instead just three weeks from their major election victory, House Republicans are intent on breaking trust with the very people who elected them, throwing up their hands and claiming impotence.

Failure by Republicans to fight Executive Amnesty using every power at their disposal will force the public to ask the question of whether their opposition was simply a political talking point that they cynically hoped that America would forget a few weeks later during the Christmas season.

Just as Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber recently revealed that the entire health care law was sold to a “stupid” public on a foundation of lies, it will be reasonable for America to ask if the 2014 election was won on the same foundation?

It was no secret that any Obama Executive Amnesty would have to be fought by defunding it, and Republicans cannot wiggle out of that fight due to their fear of being blamed for a shut down.  That fight was the promise they made as their closing argument for election just a few weeks ago.

Failure to stop Obama on this issue now, puts the legitimacy of their sweeping election victory in question as the public wonders if they were Grubered by the Washington, D.C. Republican establishment?

Losing the trust and legitimacy to lead should be Republicans concern going into this fight, because turning tail at this point would expose them as just the other side of the same D.C. coin that America just rejected.

Not exactly the recipe for building a successful incoming Congress, and one that may force new incoming Members to reconsider their leadership choices.

Rick Manning is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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