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Republican Majority Sets Ambitious Goals For 118th Congress

January 18, 2023 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Some observers made a big deal of the turmoil during the first hours of the 118th Congress, but all in all, it was pretty routine: The Republicans’ purpose was to answer the age-old question posed by Secretary of State Al Haig upon hearing on March 30, 1981 that President Reagan had been shot:
“Who’s in charge here?”
Once the dust settled, the Republican majority got to work on its agenda. On that score, Ohio Cong. Jim Jordan laid out the game plan.
“In two years’ time,” he said, “we have a border that is no longer a border, we have a military that can’t meet its recruitment goals. We have bad energy policy, bad education policy, record spending, record inflation, record debt, and a government that has been weaponized against We the People — against the very people we represent.”
Jordan’s first goal: “So, we need to pass legislation to address all that.”
“All that”? Quite a challenge in any Congress.
Well, Jordan’s second goal was more specific, but equally ambitious: “Pass a budget and responsible appropriation bills.”
Well, what happens then? Like all legislation, appropriation bills have to be passed by the Senate, and then signed by the president. What are the chances of that happening in 2023?
Jordan was hopeful but not optimistic: “I hope my Democrat colleagues will join me, I really do. But I have my doubts. And if they don’t, and if Chuck Schumer says ‘No, we’re not going to take up that legislation’ that we pass, and if Joe Biden won’t sign it, so be it, they’ll have to answer to the people in 2024.”
Right there, Mr. Jordan concedes defeat — and he admits as much. Because Schumer won’t take it up and Biden wouldn’t sign it. Period.
Well, Jordan muses, “we can stand firm on a CR or something, we can have that fight.”

Continuing Resolution
Or Continuing Chaos?

For Jordan, “that fight” means a bill called a “Continuing Resolution” (CR). The CR is required when the Congress doesn’t pass those twelve appropriations bills, all of them, each considered separately on the floor in a timely fashion.
And that hasn’t happened in years.
As the expiration date (usually the end of the current fiscal year) of the last appropriations bill approaches, the majority party quickly concocts a bill to “continue” the expenditures approved for the previous fiscal year.
Jordan addresses the most recent instance, which was a disaster: “We can never ever let a bill like the one that passed 12 days ago, $1.7 trillion, we can never, ever let that kind of legislation pass again,” he said.
That bill, a Continuing Resolution, was passed on a party-line vote on December 23, just hours before a deadline that would have shut down the federal government on Christmas Eve. The bill authorizes federal expenditures until September 30, 2023. If twelve new appropriations bills don’t pass between now and September, “we can have that fight,” Jordan says — we can have another CR, a Republican CR this time — and fight for it.
If Schumer’s Democrat Senate majority won’t pass it, then Republicans can either cave or fight. If they fight, they risk a shutdown.
That risk will require a large dose of “fight.” Historically, Republicans freak out about shutdowns. As the deadline approaches, Democrats scream that hospitals will close and the poor will die in the streets, all because of stingy Republicans. Compliant media will join the chorus.
Curiously, during a shutdown — normally very short-lived — only “nonessential” government employees are sent home. Unfortunately, instead of being fired (they are “nonessential,” aren’t they?), they routinely enjoy a paid vacation and come back with uninterrupted salary and benefits when Congress finally passes a CR. [In similar fashion, thousands of federal bureaucrats were sent home during the China Virus lockdowns. Many of them performed no work for months, or more. Their salaries, benefits, and automatic promotions continued throughout.]
On to Jordan’s third goal — investigations.
Republicans have talked it up a lot this past year. But they don’t call the embedded bureaucracy the Deep State for nothing. Since the 1960s, career federal employees have looked at Republicans in the White House and Capitol Hill as temporary political employees — amateurs. They treat their agenda accordingly.
So in the coming investigations, Democrats called to testify will use the hearings on the Muller investigation charade as their model. They’ll make sure that Jordan’s widely touted investigations will be “all show and no go.”
State Media’s Usual Suspects will ignore them, the guilty will have amnesia, the bad guys will wipe their phones, stonewallers will insist, “that’s classified,” and they’ll do it all year. If criminal referrals are made, they’ll go to Biden’s Justice Department, where they will die.
In early 2024, investigations will fold as elections take over, and it will be business as usual.
If Joe Biden doesn’t get us into a nuclear war with Russia first, that is.

Forecast: A Slight
Chance Of Pain

But wonders never cease, and some budget-cutting Republicans might use the power of the purse in a positive way.
Why not defund the Departments of Education and Homeland Security, NPR, PBS, and every self- perpetuating “peer review” federal government grant committee in Washington? Sending those billions back to the states would be wildly popular beyond the DC Beltway. The targets are legion.
Let the Democrats fight that for a change. Because otherwise, they’ll just continue filling their airwaves with attacks on the GOP as MAGA, extremist, white supremacist, revolutionary, and insurrectionist — and threaten a shutdown when the current CR expires six weeks before the 2024 general election.

Potemkin President
Visits Potemkin Village On The Southern Border

For the first time in two years, Joe Biden visited El Paso on January 8 to tour the border.
El Paso’s KFOX TV described the visit as “highly controlled.” Migrant settlements were everywhere when Pitt barely defeated UCLA 37-35 in El Paso’s Sun Bowl on December 30, but federal officials and their “nonprofit” grantees had stealthily cleared the streets by night and cleaned up the trash before Biden’s arrival.
When Biden visited a “migrant center,” why, there weren’t any migrants! They’d been cleared out as well. The migrants, the mess, and the chaos, had all been magically “disappeared.”
Three Democrat House Members joined Biden’s entourage, while the White House barred GOP border Cong. Tony Gonzales. Biden’s handlers finally informed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — the night before Biden’s arrival — that he would be allowed to greet Biden briefly as he arrived the next day.
Gov. Abbott made the most of it.
As he shook hands with Biden, the governor handed him a letter and sternly suggested that he do his job and protect the border.
Abbott’s letter was blunt. “Your visit to our southern border with Mexico today is $20 billion too little and two years too late. Moreover, your visit avoids the sites where mass illegal immigration occurs and sidesteps the thousands of angry Texas property owners whose lives have been destroyed by your border policies.
“Even the city you visit has been sanitized of the migrant camps which had overrun downtown El Paso because your Administration wants to shield you from the chaos that Texans experience on a daily basis.”
“This chaos is the direct result of your failure to enforce the immigration laws that Congress enacted,” Abbott wrote.
Abbott’s letter specifies five federal immigration laws that Biden has refused to enforce.
But a staffer later said that Biden hadn’t read it. Bear in mind that Biden, suffering from advanced dementia, can’t read anything.
Meanwhile, his handlers routinely tell the public that “the border is secure.” Undoubtedly they tell that to Biden as well.
After his visit to El Paso’s Potemkin Village, our Potemkin President might even believe them.

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