Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives, the body closest to the people and the one that is run with a simple majority, for 20 of the past 24 years. Yet they’ve done nothing with it. Now, in the waning days of their control of the House, alongside a Republican president, they are spending their time passing dozens of banal “suspension” bills, agreeing to the liberal lie on the opioid crisis, and passing a budget with priorities on abortion, immigration, and spending that are indistinguishable from anything that would be signed into law by a President Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, or, yes, Michael Avenatti.
Yesterday, the House passed the budget betrayal bill, sending it to the president who, contrary to promises of “never again,” has agreed to sign it. Yet it won’t even be a footnote in the news cycle for most in the conservative media. Frankly, Republicans could give amnesty to every illegal who comes here for the next 50 years and the “conservative movement” will do nothing to even focus on it for more than three seconds, much less resolve to do anything different.
The bill passed with the support of all but five Democrats in the entire House. Think about that for a moment. We are living in an era when congressional Democrats are so radical they will oppose everything that Trump supports, yet this budget united them all. Just 56 Republicans, less than one-fourth of the caucus, opposed the bill.
This bill not only increases spending for agencies within the Departments of Education and HHS over and beyond even the appalling omnibus spending levels (which in itself was over the Obama levels), it increases funding for all the agencies Trump specifically targeted for reduction or elimination.
On immigration, it’s important to remember that this bill not only jettisoned Trump priorities to fund the wall, hire more ICE agents, punish sanctuary cities, and end the erroneous definition of asylum and “unaccompanied alien children,” it downright includes three immigration riders to incentivize the growing invasion at our border:
The sum of this bill is a huge breach in the social contract that makes our form of government possible. It puts the concern on the invaders rather than on Americans hurt by the drugs and gangs pouring over the border.
And speaking of drugs and gangs, the House will vote on the conference report smoothing out the difference between the two chambers on the package of 70 “opioid” bills. Legislators never held a single hearing on the cause of the massive spike in illicit drug overdoses around 2014-2015, yet they are spending billions of dollars meddling in health care without addressing the illicit drugs pouring in from the Central Americans or sanctuary cities that harbor the distribution networks. Who ever said Congress can’t get things done? When both parties agree – which is 90 percent of the time on important policy issues – they complete the entire process of bicameralism and conference committees on complex bills in a matter of days.
And speaking of health care, we already know there’s not a nickel’s worth of a difference between the two parties, except Republicans are, ironically, now getting blamed for the status quo because they owned it in the worst way – signaled a revolution but then actually embraced the status quo. Malpractice on health care, malpractice on the drug crisis, and malpractice on immigration.
Ask yourself what Republicans have ever accomplished for you with control of the House for 20 years? How have they ever pushed back against the liberal Senate? The departments they are funding in this bill are now three times as large as they were when they took over in “the revolution of ’94.” There are now 73 million people on Medicaid and CHIP compared to 31 million in ’94. The cost has spiked from $84 billion to $400 billion.
So, we are not fiscal conservatives. What about social issues?
After obtaining full control of government for the first time since the video exposés of Planned Parenthood plotting to harvest baby organs, Republicans can’t even simply withhold funding for a private abortion group. Game over. Nothing to protect adoption agencies, stop coercion of religious-owned businesses, or stop the judicial assault on social cohesion in the military. None of the major “social conservative” or “pro-life” groups have said a word about it. They even honored some of the very members who crafted this bill at their Values Voter Summit.
Amazingly, Republicans now have the impertinence to run ads on abortion! “Look here, vote for me!” It’s always about the “next election” and the “next time.”
To add insult to injury, after funding the border invasion rather than border and interior security, Republicans voted on a non-binding resolution condemning cities that allow illegals to vote. I listed 25 ideas they could have passed that would have had teeth in them. They could have attached them to the budget. Instead, they allowed Democrats to insert immigration riders and played their base with non-binding resolutions quietly voted on amid 50 other nothingburger or nanny-state suspension bills. Worst of all, the resolution gave 49 more vulnerable Democrats cover to support the “conservative position” without actually changing anything; 69 others voted present.
Is anyone in the conservative media willing to look beyond the next election and take inventory of what we are doing now? If a Democrat Congress and president did something similar, the entire roster of members would be primaried. Yet our base is hooked on political morphine and is completely numb to these acts of political adultery. The fact that fewer than one-quarter of the House members felt compelled to vote against something this perfidious is a testament to the complicit nature of the “conservative movement.”
Why is the movement always dead silent on every single policy battle between elections and during primary recruitment but suddenly surface in November for every general election? If you want to vote for these putrid Republicans for fear of Democrats officially controlling things, fine. I’m not here to stop you. But what is your strategy beyond that? When will we finally break this cycle of low expectations?
Saddled with all the liabilities of controlling government and owning the status quo in the eyes of the voters, but getting none of the benefits, voters will put Republicans out of their misery and just officially give Democrats the power they already had by default. Except, in this election, Democrats will get to redraw the congressional maps to cement their power for a decade. And unlike with GOP gerrymanders, don’t expect the officious federal courts to say a word. It will be a well-deserved ending to a generation of Orwellian betrayals at the hands of the most duplicitous party in American history.
After screwing conservatives on five consecutive budgets and a debt ceiling with control of all government, they are still promising to fight “the next time.” It’s always about the next time and after “the next election.” Except the clock has run out, and now the voters will not give them another chance.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.