06.24.2016 0

Now’s the time for Ryan to act like a Speaker

By Rick Manning

As originally published at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/lawmaker-news/284646-nows-the-time-for-ryan-to-act-like-a-speaker

In the waiting area to see Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) or his staff, there is a banner that draws from University of Notre Dame football, saying, “Speaker like a Champion.” The House Democrats’ sit-in tests whether the Wisconsin Republican will live up to that motto.

In many ways, the Democrats have provided the Speaker a golden opportunity to bring his conference together and jam their priorities down the House Democrats’ throats.The first step should be to call a meeting of his Republican conference and get consensus that the House is going to expand the number of days it will meet, with five-day-a-week sessions up through the Republican convention in Cleveland, and then coming back to work as soon as it ends.

The goal would be to complete as much of the appropriations work as possible to avoid a massive continuing resolution in September, thus denying the Democrats a vehicle to hold the country hostage.

This consensus can be gained through a couple of steps.

First, the Speaker should ask GOP appropriators to find and impose a 1 percent cut in every non-defense or national security agency budget.

Second, the Speaker should ask GOP appropriators to root out Democratic-pushed spending in those bills and cut that spending from the final product. If Sen. Harry Reid‘s (D-Nev.) favorite cowboy museum gets zeroed out, oh well.

Third, the Rules Committee should deny any amendments offered by Democrats to the spending bills. This includes sending the Financial Services appropriations bill back to Rules for a new rule that disallows the more than 30 Democratic amendments that were allowed under the previous rule.

The Democratic temper tantrum against freedom is costing precious House floor time, and it should be the Democrats who pay the piper for this choice. No future appropriations bills should allow any Democratic amendments this session. What’s more, additional GOP riders should be included that curb President Obama’s abuse of power.

All of these things are within Ryan’s power. If a Speaker cannot control the floor of the House, he or she has lost the ability to lead. So this is Ryan’s moment of truth.

He must be somewhat stunned by these developments. He has given the minority almost unprecedented power. Time and again, he has passed legislation opposed by conservatives with heavy Democratic support, and now those same Democrats are disrespecting him worse than the University of Southern California Trojans abused Notre Dame in 1974’s 55-24 drubbing.

House Democrats have been emboldened to pull this stunt because they believe they can bully Ryan into concessions. If they are right, Ryan’s Speakership is effectively lost. Now it is time for Ryan to “Speaker like a Champion,” exercise the power of his position and establish conservative governance of the House.

Manning is president of Americans for Limited Government.

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