Remember that much-hyped stunt of Republicans keeping the Senate in session for part of the August recess? It would probably be better if they stayed home.
The point of Republicans remaining in session is to confirm the backlog of Trump’s executive nominations and to fight for conservative priorities on health care, abortion, and immigration in the budget bills in order to prep the battlefield for a major showdown in September. Instead, they plan on passing a spending bill that reflects the opposite of conservative priorities and a strategy that reveals their true allegiance.
When the Senate returns this Wednesday, leadership plans to combine the Defense appropriations bill with the Labor-Education-HHS appropriations bill. This $867 billion combined package wrongly pairs military spending with Obamacare and other harmful health care and labor programs. I’ve long advised that Republicans should pair Defense with Homeland Security and Trump’s immigration priorities for a more coherent security package that would put vulnerable Democrats on defense and set the stage for a budget fight in September. Now they are doing the opposite.
There are a couple of important observations about the latest GOP budget betrayal:
Think about it: Rather than pairing the wall, ICE, and immigration riders with funding for the military, for one large messaging bill on safety and security – and then pounding the many vulnerable Senate Democrats with ads – they are pairing the Department of Education, Obamacare, welfare programs, and Title X with the military! Those are the true priorities of GOP senators.
Trump must brandish his veto pen in preparation for the September fight. The president is counting on strong economic growth to protect his presidency, but as I have warned for months, the growing debt and the rising interest rates are inhibiting what should be a period of unrivaled growth. The CBO just downgraded the projection of growth for the remainder of the year precisely because of the increase in spending and interest rates. The budget office predicts that “higher interest rates and greater federal borrowing ultimately ‘crowd out’ some private activities, particularly private investment.”
Everything comes down to the budget. Are we really going to allow unprecedented GOP control of government to result in codifying Obamacare, abortion funding, and the amnesty agenda, while growing every socialist program beyond even Obama’s levels?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.