The first test of whether a potential Senate Republican majority will be willing to stand up to Obama will be in the upcoming lame duck session, when the current continuing resolution expires on December 11.
The decision made on whether to have a short-term continuing resolution that allows the new Congress to set spending priorities, or to instead kick the can to September 30, 2015, will set the stage as to whether the new leadership will be willing to challenge Obama’s regulatory rule.
Putting the continuing resolution into early 2015, should Republicans win the Senate, would provide the opportunity to defund things like the Internet giveaway, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) forcing of municipalities to build low-income housing smack in the middle of suburban neighborhoods, and detrimental Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on coal plants.
Whereas, allowing Harry Reid to write the budget for the next ten months eliminates all fiscal leverage Republicans might have had the first full year of Obama’s lame duck period.
Consider, the HUD regulation actually goes into effect this October. Transferring control over the Internet’s domain name system and assigned numbers functions from the Commerce Department will be done by September 30, 2015 when the current contract expires. The EPA coal regs will be in effect by June 2015.
By then, it is thought he also will have decreed his illegal immigration amnesty without any vote in Congress.
And there are many more rules taking effect just as heinous and destructive to the American people.
If the government is fully funded through September 30, 2015, these regulations and executive actions will all be in effect, with at least one of them being undoable. Once the Commerce Department contract with the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers expires, that’s it. Internet governance will have shifted forever away. We won’t get it back.
And then come September 30, Republicans will be risk averse to a government shutdown — what, with the 2016 presidential contest coming up — and so will be less willing to put anything in that might provoke a veto.
By then, all the smart people will be saying how Republicans just need to compromise and prove they can govern. That they just need to play ball to for the sake of 2016.
Which increases the likelihood that the White House’s priorities through 2016 will be secured, too.
So much for Obama being a lame duck.
If there is to be a budget fight, the closer we get to 2016, the less Republicans will be willing to engage.
Therefore, the most opportune time to get GOP priorities into the budget will either be in the December continuing resolution itself or by kicking the remainder of the 2015 budget into the spring, say, March.
Instead, all indications coming from Capitol Hill on the upcoming lame duck budget are that everyone wants to get out of town with as little hassle as possible.
Members must do so knowing the true cost of giving Obama free reign in 2015.
It’s that he gets much of what he wants via his pen and his phone, exactly what the public is likely to vote against in November. This basic message that Republicans are being elected to rein Obama’s abuse of power should not be forgotten before the new Congress is even sworn in.
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.