Whenever you think Republicans have finally reached “peak capitulation,” they never fail in raising the scope of their betrayal. The result of the upcoming continuing resolution, likely to receive a vote early next week, is that control over the internet will head to Russia and China while 110,000 refugees from places such as Syria, Iraq, and Somalia will be immigrating here in the upcoming fiscal year.
Earlier this afternoon Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (F, 42%) released the text of the budget CR to fund the federal government from October 1 through December 9, 2016. The bill did not contain a single policy rider limiting a single harmful policy of this administration. In other words, Obama essentially has control over both the legislative and executive branches of government. There are no checks and balances. Although, to be fair, it’s hard to call this a capitulation because Republicans never really fought on the issues of the internet giveaway, Iran ransom, and refugees in the first place.
It is truly sad that Republicans wouldn’t even fight on something as important and easy to sell as retaining control over internet domains. This is a fight Democrats could never have won, but winning is not in the lexicon of Senate Republicans. It is simply unconscionable that Republicans would ignore the refugee issue entirely in light of the national focus on the recent terror attack perpetrated by children of refugees and asylees.
The spending bill also contains an additional $1.1 billion in funding for Zika, even though there is $2.8 billion in leftover Ebola funds that have not been spent. And of course, Republicans dropped the rider blocking Zika funding to the Planned Parenthood-affiliate in Puerto Rico that is slated to benefit from the new funding stream.
Furthermore, after capitulating on every important policy, Republicans could have at least allowed the CR to operate through next year, thereby precluding the need for a lame duck session. By having this CR expire in December, however, Republicans have created a new “must-pass” cliff that will not be used to leverage conservative policy changes, but a grab-bag of liberal and special interest policies that are always traditionally associated with lame-duck budgets.
While the tip of the capitulation spear is being waived by McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas (F, 44%) in the Senate, House leadership cannot escape blame. Instead of taking a passive role, promising to vote on whatever excrement the Senate sends over, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (F, 53%) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy R-Calif. (F, 38%) should have worked with conservatives to act first. They could have funded all of government except for the internet giveaway and the refugee program — and left town for recess.
As is always the case with the opening bid on budgets, Democrats are still opposing this plan, even though it gives them almost everything they want. They are withholding their support in order to leverage more funding to address the Flint, Michigan water crisis (yes, everything is solved by throwing new programs at it). Given that Republicans have already announced they will do everything in their power to avoid a government shutdown, Democrats already know that they can take one capitulation as a down payment and demand more concessions, with the confidence that Republicans will accede to the demands.
The Republican Party has become a national embarrassment. There is no benefit to electing a GOP Senate, when in fact, they undermine our leverage. Beyond voting Republican for state offices, this party has given very little reason the party deserves control of Congress.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.