It’s about stopping the GOP,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D – California) said on Election Night. Voters turned her minority into a majority Tuesday evening. But Democrats do not get their hands on the lower body until January 3, which lets Republicans write this story’s final chapter.
Democrats will stop the GOP. Pelosi, or whoever becomes speaker, will convert the House into a giant rubber stamp that says, “HELL NO!” Aside from an infrastructure bill, anything that slips past filibustering Democrats and passes the GOP Senate will be machine-gunned the second it reaches the House. The Trump/GOP legislative agenda, as such, dies in two months. Instead, the Democrat House will launch big-government measures (even if they sink in the Senate), probe every curve of the Trump Administration, and possibly impeach President Donald J. Trump for the high crime of defeating Hillary Clinton, even though there is zero chance that 67 senators would vote to convict him.
House Democrats cynically will assure that nothing Trump wants goes anywhere. Then, come 2020, they will slam him as a do-nothing president. There is no bottom to the Democrats’ craftiness.
Facing these facts, Republicans should lead the mother of all lame-duck sessions. In fact, they should call it the working-duck session.
• As deficits and the national debt creep higher, Congress should pass the Penny Plan. Every dollar of federal spending this year would drop to 99 cents in 2019, 98 cents in 2020, and so on. In 2024, spending will hit 94 cents on the dollar. This should yield a balanced budget, as painlessly as possible.
• It’s now or never to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Senate should re-visit the “skinny repeal” bill on which the late Senator John McCain (R – Arizona) turned his thumb down. The reliably conservative Senator John Kyl (R- Arizona), McCain’s temporary replacement, would turn his thumb up on this measure. If the other Republican “Ayes” hold, Obama’s national embarrassment finally will be unplugged. Medicaid funds re-directed to the states will shift healthcare decisions from Beltway bureaucrats closer to American patients and doctors.
• Congress should provide permanent legal status to some 700,000 DACA recipients in exchange for a fully funded border-wall. The violent, barrier-busting, rock-throwing, helicopter-attacking pedestrian invasion force — still headed north — vividly confirms the desperate need to control America’s colander-like southern frontier.
• The House-passed Tax Cut 2.0 bill would make last year’s tax relief permanent, thus avoiding an automatic tax hike come 2026, if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expires. Senate Democrats have bemoaned this potential middle-class tax increase. So, they should vote to avoid it forever.
• The bipartisan Online Sales Simplicity and Small Business Relief Act would limit state-level Internet taxes — a virtuous cause, indeed.
• Planned Parenthood funds should be block-granted to the states on a per-capita basis. Let governors and state legislatures restrict those funds as they wish.
• The National Taxpayers Union endorses 10 bills that would increase transparency, halt federal checks to Deceased-Americans, terminate pensions to crooked members of Congress, and prevent federal employees from flying first class at taxpayer expense. These common-sense items deserve swift approval.
Come January, the Republican Senate — possibly fortified with more GOP seats, depending on three unresolved races — should stay busy confirming federal judges and swapping holdover Obamacrats with conservative replacements. Those seats should have been filled last year.
Republicans should use their remaining power until 2019. Democrats will scream, but they always do. Republicans must resist the foolish temptation to “be nice” to Democrats, in hopes that they will return the favor. They won’t.
Instead, Republicans should vote, vote, vote relentlessly until January 3, with just a day or two off for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. They should litter President Trump’s desk with bills that enhance individual freedom, fortify national security, limit government, and unleash markets. Come 2019, President Trump will have little if anything to sign. Until then, congressional Republicans should give Trump a sprained wrist from signing a pile of worthy bills.