It appears that the white smoke is coming up from the U.S. Capitol and Paul Ryan will be acclaimed as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The reluctant leader famously put forward a series of demands in order to take the job, and apparently, his colleagues seem set in their internal choice that has had all the qualities of a high school sophomore class election.
Regardless of who the House GOP’s choice for the job is, they still have the daunting task ahead of taking on President Barack Obama over the last sixteen months of his presidency.
Otherwise, Obama will be busily transforming America until the Secret Service stuffs him into a limo to transport him to his new home in Jan. 2017.
And there are only two must pass bills a year that Congress can use to throw sand in Obama’s regulatory assault — the debt ceiling increase and the government funding legislation — both which are due to come up in the days ahead.
What the GOP does with these two opportunities will determine how far down into the ground Obama is allowed to drive the country in his last year via midnight regulations.
The predominant sentiment in the GOP is to play pill bug, curl up in a ball and hope that no one squishes them. That path leads to complete acquiescence to Democrat and corporate K Street demands for accelerating our nation’s orgiastic debt spree and the decimation of our formerly inviolable self-determination rights through trade deals and racial pandering policies.
Following this path effectively neuters congressional prerogatives with lasting consequences related to the future constitutional validity of claims of Article One authority. Why should courts stick up for the separation of powers when Congress will not? It is also the surest path to a Democrat majority in the Senate and the loss of the gains Republicans made in the House in 2014.
The alternative that is often offered is that confronting Obama over his funding excesses, like the morally reprehensible Planned Parenthood, would be politically disastrous. This is false. It is through the thorough debate and scrutiny of the funding of every aspect of government that GOP leaders in Congress will identify and eliminate many of Obama’s excesses. They may not win the topline battle, but in fighting, they could win many other smaller, but no less consequential funding victories.
The truth is that there are hundreds of regulations that are going into effect, lawsuits being defended and out of control actions by this administration that should be scrutinized and reined in using the government funding process.
Is President Obama really going to shut down the government over whether eugenicist Margaret Sanger’s bust should be honored in the Smithsonian? No, he is not.
Larger issues like Obama’s regulatory assault on actual available fuels to generate electricity could also survive the negotiations between the executive and legislative branches, but only if the new Speaker makes it a priority.
The new Speaker is not tainted with any of the previous negotiations between his predecessor and the other branches of government, nor should he be saddled with an irrational fear of taking a hard line position.
If Paul Ryan is Speaker, he will have a chance to lead. A chance to show his critics that he can truly unite the Republican Party around limited government principles and make progress in stopping Obama’s agenda. If he succeeds, the nation will be better off for his service, if not, he will be little more than a footnote as the second accidental Speaker in the past twenty years.
This is a guest post by Rick Manning President of Americans for Limited Government.