(Willie Deutsch) – Over the past two weeks, Republican leadership in the House and Senate drastically increased conservative distrust of Republican compromises. In the House of Representatives, the compromise version of the Agriculture Bill proved to be worse than the original, and the Senate filibuster compromise was a capitulation which we didn’t get anything out of.
Following the conservative revolt in the House which led to the death of the Farm Bill, Americans for Limited Government, like other conservative groups. called for the bill to be split in half so farm subsidies and food stamps could be reformed individually.
Republican leadership heard the cries and decided that if they split the bill in half, they would be able to get conservative votes. While they cut the bill in half, they rushed the subsidy portion through without making any effort to reform it. The promise was that the food stamp program would be reformed. However, considering the provisions stuck in the subsidy farm subsidy legislation, there is little hope that leadership is serious about reform.
Instead of working to reform federal food subsidies, new programs were created, expanded, and made permanent. If this is reform, the American people should have none of it as a Republican compromise that surrenders on principles doesn’t help at all. The only compromises to be agreed should in the least help out incrementally.
If instead Republicans are simply giving the Democrats what they want, then it is a surrender — not a compromise. While Republican leadership insists they will reform food stamps, the reforms they made to farm subsidies do not inspire confidence.
In the Senate, Republicans “saved the filibuster” by apparently promising never to filibuster. President Obama and Sen. Reid worked hard to confirm Thomas Perez as Labor Secretary, Gina McCarthy as EPA administrator, and other radical nominees.
Incensed that the minority in the Senate might possibly reject some of Obama’s radical nominees, Harry Reid threatened to eliminate the filibuster of presidential nominees if the Republicans didn’t approve them. Republicans cowered at the thought that the filibuster might die, and promised not to filibuster any more of Obama’s executive nominees. The only thing they got in return was two new NLRB appointments which are just as bad as the ones they were opposing.
If you preserve a legislative tool by promising not to use it, aren’t you simply preserving it for your enemies? When President Obama is sidelining Congress by implementing his agenda through the bureaucratic state, the only check Republicans had was to block his nominees. If they believed in opposing Obama’s big labor agenda, then Thomas Perez and the NLRB nominees needed to be blocked. If Republicans oppose Obama’s radical environmental agenda, then Gina McCarthy needed to be blocked. Now Obama has administrators who will work quickly to shut down power plants and implement his radical vision.
The Thomas Perez vote is particularly troubling because of the fake opposition he received. Perez was confirmed on a party line vote of 54-46, but Republicans failed to muster the 41 votes necessary to filibuster the nomination. Voting against a nomination is meaningless unless Senators are willing to take the necessary steps to block it. Yet this is exactly what six Republican Senators did. They are able to tell their constituents that they voted against Perez, but they still let him get confirmed. What is the point of having a minority that ineffective?
Being content with meaningless, ineffective votes seems to be the current congressional Republican agenda. In 2010, Congressional Republicans were given the majority in the House to cut spending, and end Obamacare.
There has been vocal opposition to spending increases, and repeated votes to repeal Obamacare, but when the rubber meets the road, nothing has actually been accomplished on these fronts.
The House of Representatives supposedly has the power of the purse. They could only pass continuing resolutions and debt ceiling authorizations that put us on a path to a balanced budget and end funding to Obamacare. They refuse to either of these, and instead prefer meaningless recorded votes to votes that could actually accomplish the things they claim to believe in.
When a Republican compromise equals capitulating to liberal demands, the Republican leadership has proven to be ineffective fighters. Republicans have the votes to check Obama’s radical agenda, and they need to begin to fight and force compromises that actually get Republicans something instead of simply capitulating.
(Willie Deutsch is Editor-in-Chief for NetRightDaily.com, and Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government)