The political landscape has without a doubt gone through dramatic changes with the arrival of 2017. The Republicans now hold the Presidency, the Senate, and the House; unified government for the first time since the early stages of the Bush administration. Capitol Hill and the White House are both oozing red, yet somehow it still feels like the Obama administration to everyday hard working Americans.
The latest and quite possibly strongest example of this comes as the new budget is introduced to Congress; a trillion dollar bipartisan deal which would fund government operations through September. The timing of the budget is crucial, as the government is once again in a situation where failing to reach an agreement could lead to a shutdown.
Republicans certainly do not want to see the government shut down under their watch, especially so early in the new administration. But the lack of conservative influence in this budget is inexcusable. There are five especially appalling elements of the measure:
- No funds for the border wall – Not a single penny. This is especially humiliating for the White House, who rightfully emphasize national security. Failing to gain any financial support for this overwhelming project will continue to delay the process.
- Sanctuary cities have not been defunded – Somehow, money is still going to cities who consider themselves to be safe havens for those here illegally, but border security remains a low priority. This sure doesn’t sound like the Republican leadership we were promised.
- Planned Parenthood remains fully funded – This is the most infuriating aspect of the new budget for social conservatives. Certainly, the Trump administration has taken multiple steps for the benefit of the pro-life movement. This, however, is a major step in the wrong direction. No budget should be considered satisfactory to conservatives if taxpayer money is being used to murder the unborn.
- No cuts on other domestic programs or agencies – Despite Trump’s efforts to reduce waste on agencies such as the EPA, none of this was accomplished in the budget. They want to cut spending, yet they continue the out of control waste.
- What they did get, they used on the military – So the Republicans did negotiate for an increase in military spending at least. While this is significant, the $15 billion increase is an increase, and failing to make cuts in other areas means that this makes the budget too large to cut taxes as much as the Trump administration wants. In short, military spending does need to be increased, but the Republicans are going to have to do a much better job bargaining or else American taxpayers will feel the difference.
It is truly mind blowing that Republican leadership in the House who helped put together this budget would neglect the voters who elected them and ignore the platform which helped them get elected.
According to NBC, the New York Times, and various other sources, the deal was “bipartisan.” While this may be true in the sense that representatives of both of the two major parties worked together, it is far from accurate as far as the American people are concerned. In reality, the Democrats got a steal with this budget, ripping off the majority of Congress for the next four months.
The Democratic platform includes open borders, abortion on demand, and many government programs to assist the less fortunate. This budget enhanced each of these objectives, especially open borders, not only by neglecting the President’s plan to increase border security but also by continuing to fund sanctuary cities. With Planned Parenthood and other social programs Democrats support still fully funded, the victory for the Left is stunning considering all odds were stacked against them.
The defeat for conservatives who thought they were going to see major changes in the budget with the new administration, is devastating. Not only has the Republican Party failed social conservatives by allowing their tax dollars to continue to go to the heinous act of murdering the unborn, but they have also backed off on what the President’s campaign mainly focused on – national security. The only victory the Right achieved, which the Left, of course, calls a “compromise,” is a minute increase in military spending – shocking and disheartening indeed.
Is it really shocking though? Maybe not, as many discontented conservatives who have seen this movie before will say “I told you so.” Many were really sold on this administration though and for good reason. The benefits of unified government are widespread, as we have already seen with the major success of appointing right-wing justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. With the struggles in Congress over healthcare, and now the budget, questions should be raised about Republican Congressional leadership.
When the President speaks of “draining the swamp”, it seems that Paul Ryan and company ought to be considered part of the “swamp”. They are, after all, career politicians who lack the courage to stand up for their constituents and deliver on the promises made during their campaigns. This isn’t the first time they have let conservatives down, but is especially offensive due to the unified Republican government which holds power.
So why are Republican Congressmen having such difficulty following through with what they campaigned on?
Ironically, the GOP’s reputation of shutting the government down gives Democrats leverage in the budget discussion. Democrats know that the government is under the GOP’s watch, meaning that a shutdown would reflect more negatively on Republicans than it would on Democrats. Therefore, the urgency is much greater to Republicans in Congress, who are then willing to take more drastic measures in an effort to pass a budget which appears to have been written solely by far left Democrats. Their compromises then become ridiculous, like allowing for the five previously stated elements in the budget in exchange for a $15 billion increase in military spending which likely would have happened anyways. This leaves just another piece of evidence that Washington is broken, even Republican leadership.
The solution? Simply let the government shut down. The situation will work itself out, but conservatives who worked so hard to elect these Republicans should not pay the price.
Fortunately, there is a chance we don’t. This corruption is unprecedented, as the Democrats are getting basically everything they want despite knowing that it is not the will of the American people. In fact, this is happening so much so that the American people are going to start to notice more and actually hold their leaders accountable. Take it from Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, a member of the Freedom Caucus. He states that conservatives aren’t going to be happy with this budget, and will actually do something about it this time.
Even before it is implemented though, there is hope that President Trump will veto the budget. It seems unlikely, but Trump would certainly win a major vote of confidence from his base if he were to take action, especially if he references the budget’s neglect of his proposed border wall, and why national security is a top priority.