Miscellaneous Dyspeptic Mutterings on the Continuing Resolution…

Seriously, why do the Republican apologists and Administration slappies make me feel like this right now?

I have seen in more than one place some explanations by supporters of the Trump Administration for the continuing resolution that was passed and will be signed by the president that make waterboarding sound like a picnic by comparison! The rationale they use if summarized in a short bullet point is as follows:

  • Give them everything so there is no shutdown

Pardon me for a moment while I facepalm Pink Floyd style:

Folks, this is so bad its almost good. But seriously, the excuses need to end.

We have heard for years from The Usual Suspects about how they were going to show a spine. Now one can reasonably argue that at earlier times there were mitigating circumstances that limited the real progress that could be made. Nonetheless, with each additional layer of governmental responsibility, the culpability for inaction increases.

For example, in 2009 when the Republicans had no real ability to stop anything of note, they made a bunch of promises of what they would do when they had the power. After the Obamacare debacle, they won a 41st Senate seat in an early special election which obtained them a filibuster capability. Then in the fall of 2010, they won the House. While this stopped a lot of additional things being done, there was still the issue of having less than half of one branch of government. This is why the government shutdown racket from #TedQuixoteDeLaCruza was such a failure.{1}

However, in 2014 the Republicans won the Senate and now were proposing bolder ideas including a reconciliation bill in 2015 that they passed and sent to Resident Obama which was promptly vetoed. Here is what Speaker Paul Ryan said about this event after the veto:

As you may know, the House has acted boldly to make use of the reconciliation process this Congress.  After working to resolve budget differences between the House and the Senate, Representative Tom Price introduced a reconciled budget report on October 16, 2015.  This bill, H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, dismantles the president’s demonstrably unworkable health care law.  H.R. 3762 repeals the individual mandate, the employer mandate, the medical device tax, and the “Cadillac” tax on high value insurance plans.  By eliminating the most coercive and onerous pieces of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and by laying the foundation for a patient-centered system, H.R. 3762 would force President Obama to deal with the fact that his health care law has resulted in higher costs and lower quality care for working families.

H.R. 3762 would also strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood for one year while the House conducts an investigation into whether or not this organization has committed federal crimes related to the harvest and sale of aborted babies’ body parts for profit.  To make sure women have access to quality health care, this bill increases funding to the Community Health Center Fund by $235 million dollars in each of the next two fiscal years.  On October 23, 2015, in bipartisan fashion and with my support, the House passed H.R. 3762 by a vote of 240 to 189.  On December 3, 2015, the Senate passed this bill with minor changes by a vote of 52 to 47.  On January 6, 2015, the House once again acted in bipartisan fashion and passed the Senate’s version of H.R. 3762 by a vote of 241 to 168.  However, on January 8, 2016, the President vetoed this legislation.

Despite the president’s veto, the passage of this budget reconciliation bill is a major victory for those who believe in patient-centered health care reform and the sanctity of human life.  After more than five years of trying to put a bill on the president’s desk to repeal his health care law, the Congress was able to hold the president accountable for the unmitigated disaster that is his signature policy item. {2}

How about we see some of this same reconciliation boldness in the new congress, Mr. Speaker? The bottom line is this:

If Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do not serve up that same bill for President Trump to sign, then we know they were engaging in a stunt before because they knew Mr. Obama would veto what they sent to his desk.

There is no excuse now to not pass the exact same bill gutting Obamacare. Well, unless they were not serious before. And if that is the case, then why take them seriously now?

It is inexcusable to serve up a continuing resolution that could have been proposed by a Pelosi-Schumer-Clinton government and which Trump supporters would gripe about if they had. And if anyone doubts me on this, ask yourself what Republicans and conservatives would have said about a Pelosi-Schumer-Clinton continuing resolution that did the following:

FUNDED

The bill continues funding refugee resettlement and visas from the six countries from which Trump wanted to suspend immediate immigration, despite this budget being the last recourse against the judicial tyranny. The refugee program gets $3.1 billion, the same as it did under Obama.

Sanctuary cities were funded, despite the judicial tyranny and the need for Congress to weigh in.

Planned Parenthood was funded, despite the long-standing GOP promise to fight to defund it, even when they only controlled Congress. Yes, they couldn’t even defund a private organization getting taxpayer funds to traffic baby organs.

Increased spending for a number of liberal priorities rather than codifying Trump’s requested $17 billion in non-defense spending cuts.

EPA was saved from the cuts proposed for this year by Trump’s OMB.

A $295.9 billion bailout for Puerto Rico’s irresponsible Medicaid program. This is on top of the bailout from last year.

Sec. 543 of the omnibus contains a provision opening the door for more H2-B low-skilled workers this fiscal year.

$990 million increase of the “Food for Peace” program in Africa.

Government-run health care? HHS will see a $2.8 billion boost in spending, of which $2 billion will go to the NIH, which was supposed to be cut by the Trump budget.

Green energy programs within the Department of Energy, programs Trump would have eliminated, received a modest spending increase.

The federal judiciary saw its budget increased by three percent, to $7.4 billion, from fiscal 2016, despite engaging in civil disobedience against the rule of law.

The unconstitutional Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is fully funded despite GOP promises to dismantle it. Richard Cordray is still serving as its director despite the change in administration.

California’s high-speed rail will continue to be funded by the Federal Rail Administration.{3}

Seriously. Republican apologists and other Administration slappies would have crapped buckets of dung like howler monkeys and flung it at everyone within earshot at any of that stuff coming from a Clinton-Pelosi-Schumer led government. Now if they are not as quiet as a whore in church about it, they are explaining it away in some of the most pathetic drivel you will ever read. Aristotle, call your office because the Law of Non-Contradiction has arrived and its not feeling very well at the moment!

Also worth noting is the following:

NOT FUNDED

The border wall. Although $1.5 billion in additional “border security” funds were allocated, Democrats made certain to bar funding for the fence. As I’ve noted before, given the legal problems with those who step foot on our shores and the cumbersome nature of interior enforcement, anything short of the permanent deterrent of a border wall will not solve the problem. {4}

Now to be clear, I think the whole wall idea is a load of horseshit and is not even going to work anyway. But that is beside the point. Like it or not, President Trump was elected with the wall as a centerpiece of his campaign and in his first budget confrontation with Democrats, he agrees to not fund a key priority of his during the campaign?

At some point a stand needs to be taken and with Republican control of government, what’s the excuse now? Think about it:

  • If capitulating across the board is supposed to show that Republicans can govern, then why bother turning out in 2018 or 2020? Seriously.
  • What will the excuse be when the GOP fails again to repeal Obamacare to the fullest extent possible{5} this week?
  • What will be the excuse when tax reform just nibbles the edges and does nothing of substance to really reform the system?
  • What will the excuse be in September when there is no shutdown and the GOP funds everything once again?

Why should voters in 2018 believe these shysters when they make all the same promises again next year after failing to keep promises made prior to 2016 as well as 2016’s promises in 2017?

Think about it!

Notes:

{1} And yes, it was a failure. Those who talk about the Republicans winning the Senate the following year always ignore not only the polls on this issue but also the disaster for the Democrats that the botched Obamacare website rollout did to them. Without the latter and the damaging news stories that dogged the Democrats for months leading up to the actual election in 2014, its seriously debatable if the Republicans would have even won the Senate that year.

{2} Speaker Paul D. Ryan: Excerpt from his Election Page Viewable HERE.

{3} Daniel Horowitz: Excerpt from the Article Betrayal Beyond Belief: Dem Priorities Funded; Trump’s Scuttled (circa May 1, 2017)

{4} Daniel Horowitz: Excerpt from the Article Betrayal Beyond Belief: Dem Priorities Funded; Trump’s Scuttled (circa May 1, 2017)

{5} I am aware that there are some parts that are only capable of being fully repealed via statute. However, HR 3762 substantially guts that bill via reconciliation and is eminently doable right now.

About Shawn McElhinney 13 Articles
I call fair balls and strikes on all subjects I write on. I do not believe in spin nor do I believe in being a slappie for any person or cause -even those causes I happen to generally agree with. I write from a predominantly conservative point of view but I am not wedded to conservatism and when I view it as wrong or lacking on an issue, I will where applicable say so. I am also a longtime Independent voter and while being an Independent is all the rage now after the last election season, to paraphrase that great western philosopher Barbara Mandrell: I was Independent, when Independent was not cool.

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