The House that never deserved a majority

· December 18, 2018  
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U.S. House of Representatives
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The last time I checked, Republicans still control the House with a simple majority vote until January. Yet, they are out of session until Wednesday and are aimlessly groping in the dark for messaging and policy. Which begs the question: Why haven’t Republicans ever passed a good continuing resolution or omnibus bill out of the House with the immigration fixes and other promises and stared down the Senate? They’ve had at least seven opportunities to do so over the past two years. Why has Trump not called for this?

There’s been a lot of focus throughout these seven or so budget deadlines since the Republicans won the 2016 elections on the fact that they lack 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. But Democrats also lack the votes to overcome a filibuster and they don’t have the House or the White House.

Republicans have always had the ability to swiftly pass their campaign promises out of the House attached to a budget bill with a simple majority and dare the Senate to oppose it. This could have built a narrative around the border and sanctuary cities and focused the debate where the Democrats don’t want to take it. Then, Trump could pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., every hour to force Democrats in the Senate to engage in a talking filibuster under the “two-speech rule” all the while having a robust floor debate over the future of our sovereignty, security, MS-13, sanctuary cities, and the drug crisis.

Instead, the House won’t even act. They wait for direction from the Senate and have been doing so for the past two years. This exposes the mendacity of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Nothing ever stopped him from passing a budget with a simple majority. Like anything else in life, why not take the first step that is easy even if you envision adversity during the second step? You can’t win if you don’t even get on the playing field, but taking that first step in and of itself builds momentum and applies pressure to Democrats.

By the House refusing to even consider good policy and by McConnell refusing to even have a floor fight, Democrats never felt pressure to negotiate. They are terrified of Willie Horton-type ads about sanctuary cities. They’ve never been confronted with an agenda that goes after criminal aliens.

As for President Trump, why didn’t he give a series of speeches using the bully pulpit for months, as I’ve been calling for, to demand that McCarthy pick this fight and McConnell sustain it by enforcing Senate rules? Why did Trump not threaten to support Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, as leader unless McCarthy complied? Where’s the 4-D chess?

The answer is very simple. Republicans don’t share our values. At all. Even if they had 70 Senate seats, they wouldn’t fulfill their campaign promises. Remember, majority control of the House is as good as having 100 Senate seats, yet for the past two years Republicans have refused to even pass a single stand-alone immigration reform bill of consequence to protect our sovereignty.

Remember when Kevin McCarthy had a number of phony conservative figures suddenly talking up his stand-alone border bill right when Jim Jordan challenged him for leadership? As I predicted, he refused to even bring it to a vote, much less attach it to the CR or omnibus and demand that McConnell follow the president’s lead and introduce the bill in the Senate while forcing Democrats to use all their debate time.

Rather than every Republican shaming Democrats for allowing drug cartels to shut down our Border Patrol and cause the drug crisis, they bemoan a 25 percent government shutdown? They have enough material to debate national sovereignty 24/7 on the Senate floor, yet there is no debate whatsoever. Instead, they are spending their final hours voting on a bill that will actually release some of the very drug traffickers coming through our border or individuals working for the cartels that are orchestrating this invasion at the border. They are spending time passing all of the liberal items … before Democrats take over the House. I guess they want to save the legislative clock so they can focus exclusively on impeachment.

It’s a vicious cycle. Trump doesn’t fight fully because there is no party standing behind him, and the “conservative movement” is too busy focusing on Soros’s crime agenda. The more Trump stands down, the more everyone else caves. Trump won’t lead without the movement, but there is no movement to back him.

The moral of the story is that when you believe in something with all your heart and soul, as Democrats do, you will find a way to win even with zero branches of government in your corner. When you believe in nothing beyond the campaign promise, you will find a way to lose even with control of all three branches. In the case of Republicans, it’s even worse. They won’t even get on the playing field and take the first step in fighting for border security. The only first step they will take is the First Step Act, which is the first stage to dismantling Reagan’s successes on crime.

Most conservatives are dreaming of Trump getting re-elected and Republicans winning back the House. This is reasonable enough given the alternatives. However, ask yourself this question: Unless conservatives get together and recognize this as a cathartic moment, what will change two years from now, even if Trump is re-elected and Republicans win back the House?


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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.