03.14.2016 1

Voters in no mood for a lame duck repeat of history


By Dustin Howard

What can you expect from a lame duck session this year? If past is prologue, little good comes from them. Congress, already notorious for making the most odious sausage known to man, saves the worst things for last.

The thinking generally is that voters will forget eating the putrid scraps too disgusting to consume before an election. Pat Caddell, in his March 10 press briefing with Americans for Limited Government in Washington, D.C., stated otherwise.

“2014, after the lame duck session, I did a poll, and I said, My God! The Republican base is freaking out that their leadership has just voted, gone behind closed doors, and screwed them out of the very things they promised them,” Caddell said. “From that moment on, this party, I announced at that time, could split like a boiled peanut.”

Caddell was of course referring to the controversial Cromnibus bill of 2014, where Republicans notoriously failed to defund President Obama’s Executive Amnesty overreach.

During the event, Caddell said that the electorate still has food poisoning from the 2014 lame duck session, fueling the Donald Trump phenomenon.

Caddell stated previously during the event that Trump was not the impetus of this sentiment, but surely has benefitted from it. The aversion to the fetid lame duck sausage dish was not born from one sitting. Let’s review:

*1974: under the guise of “trade reform”, Congress approved the Trade Act of 1974, the genesis of the current Trade Promotion Authority, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade deal controversies, gutting the treaty power justly held by the Senate.

*1982: Congress raised its own pay 15 percent, reigniting the ratification of the 27th Amendment that disallows such a practice, and leading to 30 states ratifying the amendment after being dormant for centuries. Wyoming did so in 1978, but the majority of states did so after 1983.

*1994: GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Uruguay Round, was passed in spite of the repudiation of the voters of the same Congress that enacted NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

*2004: Congress raised the debt ceiling during this lame duck. Ultimately, the Bush era of “compassionate conservatism” and war spending that ultimately led to the 2006 repudiation by voters.

*2006: Congress, thoroughly repudiated, extended a bilateral trade agreement with Vietnam, as well as other underdeveloped countries.

*2010:  The Senate enacts the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), reducing nuclear offensive capability in the face of Russian aggression in South Ossetia.

*2014: Congress fails to defund Executive Amnesty and Obamacare, in spite of having spent millions on ads saying they would fight the President on these issues.

*2015: Congress passed another trillion-dollar omnibus that once again failed to defund executive amnesty, Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.

The last straw, in the teeth of the current Trump and Cruz uprisings, would be enacting a job killing Trans-Pacific Partnership that surrenders American sovereignty to foreign trade rivals. Obama is likely to sign the deal at a point in time when the mandatory 60-day approval or disapproval by Congress will only occur after the November elections, after lawmakers can no longer be held accountable for their votes.

Americans are hurting, angry, and reject these double-dealings. The surest way to keep them that way, is to have another lame duck trade deal that Americans just rejected at the ballot box. Congress makes this sausage at their own peril.

Dustin Howard is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.

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