Editor’s Note – The ‘Establishment’ GOP throws in the towel without even putting up a fight? Does the ‘Ol’ Guard’, establishment GOP, represent “We the People” or even those that put them into their offices?
The Senate GOP Plan to Surrender Debt Control to Obama
Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), are reportedly planning legislation allowing President Barack Obama to lift the nation’s debt ceiling on his authority, according to sources on Capitol Hill.
Under the potential Senate Republican plan, Congress would merely retain the right to “disapprove” of the President’s action to lift the nation’s debt limit. But disapproving the action would require a hard-to-reach two-thirds vote of both chambers of Congress.
Political observers may recognize this move. It is similar to the Corker-Cardin legislation that allowed Obama to agree to the nuclear deal with Iran. The Corker legislation simply allowed Congress to disapprove the action, albeit with a vote threshold that was almost impossible to attain.
It conveniently allowed the Iran deal to come into force while enabling Republicans to vote against the treaty in everything but name.
Adopting the Corker framework for the debt ceiling does two things important to Sen. McConnell. It would allow the nation’s debt ceiling to increase, empowering the Treasury Department to continue borrowing funds.
It would also allow most Republicans to cast symbolic votes against lifting the debt ceiling. They could then campaign saying they were against raising the debt ceiling in the upcoming elections next Fall.
It’s a plan only a politician in Washington could love. It also goes a long way to explain the visceral disgust most voters feel towards Washington. On a more fundamental level, it explains the existential crisis gripping the Republican party.
The debt ceiling limits the amount of debt the federal government can accumulate, and is now set at $18,100 billion.
The federal government is borrowing additional funds for the expected 2016 budget, so it will hit that limit sometime after Nov. 3. Unless raised again, the ceiling would bar additional borrowing, and would force politically painful cuts in annual federal spending.
The Republican party in Washington is basically in the business of hiring hit-men, to ensure it has a solid alibi when a crime is committed.
The operational strategy of the Republican party now is to avoid any protracted political fight with Obama or the Democrats and hope to gain marginal political advantage in the next election. It presumably is working for a day when it control all levers of government by such a margin that it can enact its platform with zero political risk.
In the coming weeks, while most of the political world is consumed with the battle to replace
Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as House Speaker, the Congressional calendar is chocked-full of measures that the Washington establishment thinks must be passed. A new spending bill must be authorized by early December.
The Treasury Department says the debt ceiling must be lifted in early November to avoid a potential default on the nation’s debt. There is a “need” to shore-up the Highway Trust Fund and a desperate push by corporate donors to reestablish the Export-Import Bank.
The pending Senate plan to give Obama the power to lift the debt ceiling is preview of how Republicans plan to navigate these waters. They would rather cede Congressional authority over the purse to Obama than have a debate or fight.
If Senate Republicans go through with a Corker-type bill granting Obama the power to lift the debt ceiling, as seems likely, it raises the question not only of why we have Republicans, but why we have a Senate.
Editor’s Note – It is no surprise that Loretta Lynch’s confirmation to succeed Eric Holder as Obama’s Attorney General is on the cusp of needing a tie-breaking vote by VP Joe Biden. What is a surprise is that so far, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) may vote for her confirmation.
Fortunately, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is not going to vote yes:
As two hefty primary challengers loom back home in Arizona ahead of his expected run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has come out publicly against the nomination of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General because of her support for President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty.
“No he’s not voting for her, because she called the Obama executive action on immigration ‘reasonable,’” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said in an email to Breitbart News in response to a breaking story from Politico that Lynch’s nomination is a “cliffhanger” that’s going down to the wire.
Only four Senate Republicans currently publicly support her, meaning that assuming all Democrats vote for her and no other Republicans do, she would have 50 votes—and Vice President Joe Biden would come in to cast the tiebreaker in favor of her nomination. (Read more at Breitbart.)
The vote is next week and we hope for all our sakes, and oddly, Graham’s Presidential aspirations that he changes his mind and follows in the footsteps of his running buddy, McCain.
Loretta Lynch nomination a cliffhanger
She currently has the bare minimum number of votes to succeed Eric Holder.
Just days before her nomination as attorney general goes to the Senate floor, Loretta Lynch is stubbornly stuck right around 50 votes — suggesting a confirmation fight the Obama administration once seemed certain to win with relative ease will go down to the wire.
Barring an 11th-hour surprise, Lynch is likely to be confirmed. But with four GOP senators currently backing her along with unanimous support from Senate Democrats, Lynch would secure the bare minimum required to be installed as the nation’s top cop – as long as senators hauled in Vice President Joe Biden to break a tie.
Several Republican senators who could have been potential “yes” votes are signaling ahead of the confirmation vote that that they will instead vote against her.
The overwhelming bloc of opposition from Republicans stems from President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, and Lynch’s confirmation is also plagued with remnants of congressional Republicans’ toxic relations with current attorney general Eric Holder.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said when he met with Lynch more than two months ago, he asked the federal prosecutor to lay out how the Justice Department’s agenda would differ than that of Holder, who’s led the Justice Department since 2009.
“She told me it would not be different,” Burr recalled of his conversation with the nominee. “I voted against Eric Holder and he’s lived up to exactly what I thought he would.”
But Lynch, who would be the first black woman to lead the Justice Department, is drawing potential opposition on other issues. Republican Sen. Dean Heller said in an interview that he is “leaning no” on the confirmation vote expected next week, a view that is based on Lynch’s answers to his concerns about how to regulate gambling.
The Nevada senator said Lynch’s responses to a letter he sent following up on the issue left him “not very comfortable.”
“She said she has very little knowledge of what occurred in the Wire Act,” a 1961 law that banned certain types of interstate gambling, Heller said. “And yet at the same time, she prosecuted illegal gambling, offshore gambling. You can’t be prosecuting illegal gambling and say you have very little knowledge of the Wire Act itself.”
The confirmation showdown is set for next week. Senate Majority Leader McConnell hasn’t indicated how he will vote, though two members of his leadership team – Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas and Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, the fifth-ranking Republican – are confirmed “no” votes.
Senate Republicans who are backing her are Orrin Hatch of Utah, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine.
Democrats have argued that Republicans’ anger over Obama’s executive actions on immigration – which would halt deportations and give work permits for more than 4 million immigrants here illegally – shouldn’t be a factor in whether or not to confirm Lynch. She said during her confirmation hearing in January that she believes the presidential directives are legal.
But that hasn’t swayed Republican senators, who say they were troubled by her stance on the immigration matter.
Editor’s Note – The self described Constitutional educator who currently resides in the White House and trying to come to a deal with Iran, needs to re-read the Constitution if he does not bring whatever agreement arrived at for ratification in the Senate.
But, like so many other times during his Presidency, Obama thinks he can skip his Constitutional requirements, thereby, once again, not living up to his oath of office.
Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 2 reads: “He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…”
Simple as that, but not to Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, they do not want a vote, nor do they intend to get one. Therefore, House Representatives and Senators wrote in a letter warning Iran that the Senate could reverse any agreement.
This possible agreement by any other name is still a treaty! The White House of course is none-to-pleased, please read on:
Angry White House and G.O.P. Senators Clash Over Letter to Iran
WASHINGTON — The fractious debate over a possible nuclear deal with Iran escalated on Monday as 47 Republican senators warned Iran against making an agreement with President Obama and the White House accused them of undercutting foreign policy.
The letter appeared aimed at unraveling an agreement even as negotiators grow close to reaching it. Mr. Obama, working with leaders of five other world powers, argues that the emerging agreement would be the best way to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb, while critics from both parties contend that it would be a dangerous charade that would still leave Iran with the opportunity to eventually build weapons that could destroy Israel or other foes.
While the possible agreement has drawn bipartisan criticism, the Republican-only letter underscored the increasingly party-line flavor of the clash. Just last week, the Republican House speaker, John A. Boehner, gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel the platform of a joint meeting of Congress to denounce the emerging deal with Iran, and Senate Republicans briefly tried to advance legislation aimed at forcing Mr. Obama to submit it to Congress, alienating Democratic allies.
The letter generated anger inside the White House, which worried about whether it could torpedo an agreement by making Iran nervous or give it an excuse to bail out.
Iran’s foreign minister responded by dismissing the letter as a “propaganda ploy,” while congressional Democrats and the White House rushed to express outrage over what they called a violation of the old tradition of leaving politics at the water’s edge.
“Writing a letter like this that appeals to the hardliners in Iran is frankly just the latest in a strategy, a partisan strategy, to undermine the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy and advance our national interests around the world,” said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, citing the speech invitation issued to Mr. Netanyahu without consulting the White House.
Senator Harry M. Reid of Nevada, the Democratic minority leader, attributed the letter to the “pettiness” and “spite” of the Republican opposition. “Let’s be clear,” he said on the floor. “Republicans are undermining our commander in chief while empowering the ayatollahs.”
The letter, drafted by Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and signed by most of the Republican majority in the Senate, suggested to Iran that a deal with Mr. Obama might not stick because Congress would not approve it.
“The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen, and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time,” said the letter, whose existence was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.
Mr. Cotton said on Monday that he drafted the letter because Iran’s leaders might not understand the American constitutional system. Unlike a treaty, which would require ratification by a two-thirds vote of the Senate, the agreement Mr. Obama and other world leaders are negotiating with Iran would not automatically go to Congress. But members of both parties are seeking a vote.
Mr. Cotton said the terms of the emerging deal made it too risky and noted that a Republican president succeeding Mr. Obama could decide not to honor it. Speaking on Fox News, Mr. Cotton noted that the agreement under discussion would expire after 10 years. That alone would “make this deal unacceptable, dangerous to the United States and dangerous to the world.”
Mr. Cotton said he hoped that Democratic senators might also sign the letter. “And for that matter,” he said, “I’d encourage Hillary Clinton to join us in saying that Congress must approve any nuclear deal with Iran.”
Seven Republican senators did not sign, including Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; Thad Cochran of Mississippi, chairman of the Appropriations Committee; and Susan Collins of Maine and Dan Coats, members of the Intelligence Committee.
Because it is not a treaty, an agreement with Iran would not require immediate congressional action. Mr. Obama has the power under current law to lift sanctions against Iran that were imposed under his executive authority and to suspend others imposed by Congress. But to permanently lift those imposed by Congress would eventually require a vote.
Rather than wait, Republicans, joined by several Democrats, have drafted legislation aimed at forcing Mr. Obama to submit the agreement to Congress for a vote. But when Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, abruptly moved to advance that legislation for a vote, several Democrats who support it balked at taking action before the talks with Iran wrapped up. Mr. McConnell backed off.
Iran reacted with scorn to the letter, saying it would have no impact on the talks and suggesting that the authors were the ones who did not understand the American system of government in which the president conducts foreign policy.
“In our view, this letter has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy,” Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said. “It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history.”
Mr. Zarif added that a change in administration would not relieve the United States of its obligations under any agreement. “I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with ‘the stroke of a pen,’ as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law,” he said.
Correction: March 9, 2015
A previous version of this article misstated the given name of the senator who drafted the letter from American lawmakers to Iranian leaders. He is Tom Cotton, not Tim Cotton.
Editor’s Note – As many pundits agreed, the President’s response to the historical drubbing his party took on Tuesday was dubious at best. He spoke about hearing the 2/3 of America that spoke by staying home instead of the ones that actually voted. It was almost contempt for the people to swat away how the elections turned out. This was clearly a repudiation of you Mr. Obama.
He talked about working together with Congress and his tone sounded conciliatory, but his words belied all. He said he does not read the tea leaves of elections yet he spiked the football in the past telling America that “elections have consequences!” Now, not so much? Mr. Obama – you and Harry Reid were basically handed your hats.
Obama seems to think that Congress now owes him something it appeared from his presser. He wants Congress to give him their plans and ideas, as if that is how it is supposed to work. Unfortunately, his edicts to Congress means he is telling the Americans they represent that he is still going to do what he feels is necessary – alone.
Yesterday, newly reelected and presumptive Majority Leader of the Senate for the 114th Congress, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner today, each spoke in tones not heard in years and rang out clear as a bell. Mr. Obama, your policies are what are on trial here, not Congress’.
It is very difficult to know exactly how bad things were in the Senate behind closed doors, and how difficult it was to stay civil with Harry Reid and other shrill Democrat Senators. Many got mad that he did not fight back more fiercely and that Boehner was too timid. In January, we will see for ourselves how their metal is forged.
Since we have never had enough power against Obama’s policies, now we get to see the forces come to bear on him, not on the people anymore. We at SUA have been critical of Boehner and McConnell in the past, now we hope we were incorrect. We like the initial statements, now we get to see how they will proceed.
Several times Boehner pointed out to the President, that they were going to do the will of the people, that is their job.
Mr. Obama, America spoke loud and clear, liberal policies and go-it-alone strategies and policies are unwelcome – this rang true not only in the US Congress, but even more clearly in Governor’s offices and Statehouses across the land. America was seeing red, and now America is painted red once again.
‘Republicans had a good night’ is the best you can say? No, America had a GREAT night. McConnell: “Trust but verify” is the start, let’s see what Obama does now and if he burns his fingers for ‘playing with matches’ as Boehner said.
John Boehner Strikes Combative Tone
House Speaker Puts Onus on Obama to Work With Republicans
Washington—House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) struck a combative tone Thursday in his first post election comments, vowing the House would again vote to repeal the federal health-care law and warning the White House from “poisoning the well” on immigration.
Emboldened by electoral victories that allowed Republicans to take control of the Senate, Mr. Boehner put the onus on President Barack Obama to work with Republicans now that they will control both the House and Senate in the new year.
“Finding common ground is going to be hard work, but it will be even harder if the president isn’t willing to work with us,” Mr. Boehner said in a news conference on Capitol Hill.
Mr. Boehner specifically warned Mr. Obama from taking executive action to address problems with the immigration system. Such a move could ruin any chances of lawmakers taking on a broad overhaul of a system the Ohio Republican said is not working.
“If the president continues to act on his own, he’s going to poison the well,” Mr. Boehner said. “When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself, and he’s going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path.”
Mr. Boehner laid out a number of items on Republicans’ wish list to address when the new Congress begins its term in January. Mr. Boehner said lawmakers will work on approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, an overhaul of the tax code, and a number of bills related to the economy that the House has voted on and passed this year.
Additionally, he said Republicans would continue to try and repeal Mr. Obama’s signature achievement in office, the Affordable Care Act.
“Obamacare is hurting our economy, is hurting middle class families,” Mr. Boehner said. “It should be repealed and it should be replaced with common sense reforms. Whether that can pass the Senate I don’t know, but I know in the House it will pass.”
We hesitate to count our chickens before they hatch when it comes to the midterm results on Tuesday night, November 4th, but it’s never too early to start planning for the positive outcome we hope for and America deserves.
Additionally, by planning ahead, we feel that our message will help propel one or two more votes in the direction of conservatives. So the question is; what should Congress do when the Republicans/Conservatives control both houses come January 2015?
The first thing to recognize is that our federal government has been totally dysfunctional for almost six years, in large measure due to one man, the Majority Leader of the Senate. Therefore, the new Senate and House of Representatives must strive to remedy this wisely held conviction by immediately restoring regular order in the Senate and placing the most able in positions of Committee Leadership – not just by seniority in both houses.
There is a lot to repair, repeal, reconstruct, remove, and reconfigure but all efforts should be focused on recovery and restoration of American Exceptionalism, our stature across the globe, our safety at home, and our prosperity.
This is easy to say, but much harder to achieve because we will still have Obama in the Oval Office with his pen and his phone. Despite what should be a very positive outcome, we caution our Representatives and Senators not to fall into old traps, rather, we urge them to understand that it is conservative values that brought them to the dance – not the party first, America first.
There will be a power shift and the question to be answered is will Barack Obama shake up his own White House and Cabinet secretaries.
It seems many are slated to move on to other outside positions and one would need to watch where Deputy National Security Director Ben Rhodes may go as well as John Podesta as they and others could be tapped to join Hillary Clinton’s camp.
So while there is predictable White House changes on the horizon, America needs to be assertive in the quest to rebuild from the previous damage.
Our suggestions on how best they can succeed are certainly not all encompassing, but as we lay out below, each can have a great impact in the long road to recovery and how we get there with the impediments before us.
Twenty four issues rise to the top, and though there is a veto pen, each will drive the discourse of the people, not the politicians.
These are not listed by priority – some will be obvious as to level of priority:
1. – Pass legislation that clears all hurdles for the Keystone XL Pipeline – IMMEDIATELY!
If the President vetoes the bill, he will have to explain to America why. This is a theme you will find throughout our list.
2. – Pass legislation that stops ‘sequestration’ from further harming our military and national security.
Despite what you may think, sequestration was the idea of his administration, not House Republicans.
3. – Create another Select Committee to investigate the Veterans Affairs Administration.
This committee must be independent and populated by Veterans only. They will be given 120 days to draft changes that will be the underpinning of new legislation. The Obama Administration cannot be the investigative entity on one of its own debacles.
4. – Rewrite the rules and laws on government employee ethics to include criminal accountability to stop massive abuse of employment protections, especially people being placed on paid administrative leave.
5. – Audit the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.
No longer should institutional liberalism be condoned or allowed on permanent hires. Lawyers now must pass liberal litmus tests by liberal organizations that are special interest groups and in many cases, communist leaning groups.
6. – Pass legislation that makes it unlawful to prevent law enforcement at the FBI, the DHA, and even the military from investigating any group based on religion.
Intentionally focusing upon, or looking the other way completely on any one religion will be not tolerated, nor is it constitutional. By expunging all reference to Islamic Terror, Jihad, or violence from training materials and investigations is tantamount to the state promoting one religion over another and impedes the first amendment.
7. – Repeal and replace ObamaCare and/or defund those areas that infringe on individual rights or benefits any lobby or special interest group. Make Obama veto individual items, or the whole of any bill changing ObamaCare.
8. – Audit the EPA – pass legislation that curtails any and all regulatory authority in specificity. No longer should the EPA and its leftist cronies enact legislation on issues that could not pass legislative processes.
9. – Force NATO to expel Turkey as a member by cutting off funding to NATO and/or do the same to the UN.
10. – Audit sanctions and waivers of sanctions on all foreign states, entities, and individuals. Pass legislation that makes it unlawful for the President to issue waivers on sanctions as passed in the Senate, or originated in the House. In some cases, he may already being doing this unconstitutionally and was ignored in Harry Reid’s Senate.
11. – Force the President to exact the release of all American citizens held in foreign custody of any sort by cutting of funding and aid to any entity or nation.
12. – Place sanctions on Mexico for aiding and abetting the ability for any person to cross the border illegally.
13. – Terminate the free visa program. Mandate that all visitors from these nations register with the State Department within 14 days or face arrest and deportation. They may apply for a visa only during the 30 days after a hearing.
14. – Suspend the foreign student visa programs for a minimum of two years and rescind all existing student visas making them expire on the last day of the current classes in which they are enrolled.
15. – Pass legislation that mandates all illegal aliens within the borders of the United States and its territories must register with the DHS in each state within 90 days. Each will receive an identification card that prevents registering to vote; obtain a driver’s license, or any other act upon which a citizen must obtain permission from the federal, state, and local governments.
Those found to be in the United States after that period without registration shall immediately be taken into custody and confined, and then summarily deported forthwith.
Block any Executive action on amnesty to existing illegal aliens.
16. – Terminate Common Core and pass legislation dismantling the Department of Education.
17. – Repatriate Dollars. Pass legislation that requires all funds held by American citizens and corporations in foreign countries be repatriated to the United States without penalties. This shall be coupled with an act that reduces the corporate tax rate to one commensurate with competition globally.
18. – Create a select committee charged with establishing a fair tax system in six months that will replace the income tax system and thus make it possible to dismantle the IRS.
19. – Cutoff all funding to Planned Parenthood.
20. – Immediately call for the cessation of all talks with Iran regarding its nuclear programs and pass legislation that reinstates all sanctions and adds new ones.
21. – Pass a resolution that calls for the complete cessation of the pursuit of a ‘two-state solution’ between Israel and the terrorist enemies at or within her borders.
22. – Audit the Bureau of Land Management and produce a report to the citizens of all states on the ownership status and use of all federal buildings, lands, and any other holding within each state. Pass subsequent legislation to sell all unneeded property, and equipment to the private sector with a two-year moratorium of any sale to a foreign entity.
23. – Pass legislation that expressly outlaws the transfer of any Guantanamo Bay detainee until each has been tried by a military commission.
24. – Pass legislation that begins the rebuilding of NASA after a complete audit and reorganization study has been completed.
This list is by no means complete and could be expanded. Also, the methods and ends of each can be adapted in other fashions, but in any case, each of these subjects can change the dialogue leading into 2016. The foremost objective is to take back the initiative, return the discourse to topics of the people, not the party establishment, especially that of the Democratic Party, Obama, and Hillary Clinton.
No longer can we allow the media to pick our priorities as a nation, nor our candidates. The issues must drive the day, and leadership, like cream, will rise to the top. Establishment politics must now become the next battle to wage to return control of our government to the people, as Americans First. This applies to the manner in which new leadership is chosen in Congress and we must back those who place us first, and party far down the line of priorities.
Scott W. Winchell contributed to, edited, and posted this article.
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