I keep getting asked the following question: “What do you expect President Trump to do when he’s saddled with a do-nothing RINO Congress?”
Assuming those asking the question are honest brokers, rather than unwilling to hold the president accountable to his “I alone can solve” campaign promises, I have a handy list of six conservative things the president could be doing right now — regardless of how inept or uncooperative the Swamp Congress may be.
1) Actually use the bully pulpit of the presidency to rally his party to repeal Obamacare, the way Obama did for a year to rally his party to pass it.
We need to remember that President Obama won a more dominant electoral victory in 2008 than Trump did in 2016, but that alone wasn’t enough, even for Obama, to get his own party to pass Obamacare. Obama spent a year holding rallies, giving speeches, and using the bully pulpit of the presidency to get the Democrat Congress to finally pass it in the dead of night, right before Christmas 2009. On the other hand, Trump has spent exactly zero political capital on keeping the promise to repeal it — and there’s no way it will be repealed unless that changes.
2) Actually keep his promise to pull out of Paris global warming garbage, which recent reports suggest Trump is waffling on.
To be fair, the White House is denying a Wall Street Journal report that says Trump is waffling on his previous decision to pull us out of the Paris accords. So why not renew that commitment with a public statement that explains why these are bad policies for American families/workers?
3) Don’t cut deals with Democrats to unconditionally raise the debt limit with literally nothing in return.
If Trump is looking to go back on something he previously vowed to do, why not on this one? Because if you know exactly what Trump got in return from Democrats, in exchange for yet another unconditional debt limit increase, you’re better informed than I am. It sure looks like the “brilliant negotiator” got a whole of nothing.
4) Keep his promise to repeal the Johnson Amendment.
Though the Johnson Amendment has rarely threatened religious liberty actionably, it nonetheless remains a symbol of government coercion. So why hasn’t Trump done away with it as he vowed throughout the campaign? This is low-lying fruit that would cost Trump nothing politically to reward his base, and yet he does nothing.
5) Stop enforcing Obamacare’s child-killing mandates on religious institutions and private companies.
Despite a previous announcement, the Trump administration still has not followed through on officially ceasing to enforce Obamacare’s child-killing mandates on religious institutions and private companies of conscience. Wasn’t this issue already adjudicated in the Hobby Lobby case? The Trump Justice Department claims it’s backlogged and overworked. If that’s case, I can think of no better place to begin lightening the load then by officially jettisoning these unconstitutional provisions. Especially since the Trump Justice Department is supporting a key religious freedom case currently making its way through the courts. So why not bolster its cause by committing to actions that show the judicial branch the administration is serious about upholding the First Amendment?
6) Actually keep his promise to have Mexico pay for the building of the wall, which could be done by simply offsetting it with the foreign aid we give Mexico every year.
Using this approach does two things — makes Mexico pay for the wall with money it was counting on and forces a mostly do-nothing Congress to act. Then, if Congress refuses to follow through in the appropriations process, the blame deservedly passes to them and Trump can reasonably claim he attempted to keep his popular campaign promise.
All of these are things Trump could do immediately, even by the close of business today, and none of them requires one syllable or motor function of Swamp Congress support or action. Conservatives don’t believe in an imperial presidency, as we saw under Obama, but we don’t believe in an impotent one, either.
I couldn’t agree more with these words President Trump is fond of saying: “The time for talk is over. The time for action is now.”
Steve Deace is broadcast nationally every day on BlazeTV. He is the author of the book “Truth Bombs: Confronting the Lies Conservatives Believe (To Our Own Demise).”