12.02.2014 2

From lame duck to dead duck?

lame_ducksBy Rick Manning

If reports coming from inside the Beltway are to be believed, the lame duck Congress may be preparing to use their power of the purse to fund all of Obama’s outrageous executive actions.

Observers should not be fooled by the upcoming hearings, bluster, speeches and legislation being drafted, Congress only has two tools to stop a rogue President, impeachment and the power of the purse.

If the lame duck Congress is not prepared to at least use the power of the purse to stop some of these executive actions, next year may just become known as the dead duck Congress as defunds get taken off the table in deference to the looming presidential election.

According to the Washington Examiner, one plan under consideration is to pass a clean Omnibus bill to fund all of the government that doesn’t cover immigration through September 2015.

The problem there, should Republican leaders go that route, is they will have given the President the money to give away the Internet, continue the EPA jihad on American energy, pay for Obamacare, pay bonuses to IRS employees who used our tax system as a political weapon and allow the Labor Department and National Labor Relations Board to continue as taxpayer funded proxies for big labor, just to name a few things.

Those same “tactical” Republicans who are constantly demanding an end game, should be forced prior to any vote for a clean funding bill, to lay out their plan to rein in a President who is bent on achieving his promised fundamental transformation of America through executive fiat.

Otherwise, if they fund Obama’s executive actions, politically they are admitting there is no plan to stop the President whilst he remains in office. Relying upon the hope that Obama’s actions keep the voters stirred up so they can slide a pre-approved, non-threatening do-nothing into the White House in 2017, and the bad man will go away.  A consolidation of power based upon a decision to rope-a-dope Obama for the rest of his term, while engaging in a level of deception about their outrage that would embarrass Jonathan Gruber.

For those in Congress and leadership who claim otherwise, it is time for them to prove it. Funding Obama’s executive actions for the remainder of the fiscal year will not be a good start.

Prove that you are willing to use the power of the purse by passing some modest defunds in the must-pass omnibus, or only pass a short-term funding bill that allows the next Congress to send defunded programs to Obama to veto.  Force Obama to compromise, and if you believe he won’t, then force that narrative into the public domain to mitigate against any fallout from fighting him on issues like his illegal amnesty.

Obama has already shattered the notion that our nation has co-equal branches of government.  He has declared a new executive branch that controls everything from local zoning if you take federal money, to whether a mine can be built on state land designated for mining.  He has bypassed the law of the land by failing to enforce laws he doesn’t like and rewriting those that he does to suit his purposes.

America demanded that this abrogation of our nation’s Constitution be stopped less than a month ago, and Republican leaders have emerged from that victory, but we still do not know their plan. Will they wave the white flag now when the American people are counting on them?

One hundred years from now historians might wonder how Americans lost their constitutional republic without a shot being fired, and they will be certain to take a close look at Obama’s presidency. Will they write of how Congress sat fearfully by, afraid to use their powers convinced that doing anything might cost them power? Let us hope not.

What a sad ending that would be to a nation forged on the courage of fifty six men who, “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

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

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