Reaction, shall we say, is “mixed”.
Politico.com reports that
The House Freedom Caucus hates the massive government-funding bill: Spending levels are billions of dollars higher than what conservatives wanted, and at least two top policy priorities — language addressing Syrian refugees and so-called sanctity of life — were cut.
But unlike past fiscal battles, when lawmakers took shots at GOP leaders and tried to tank bills, this time conservatives are largely holding their fire. Even as they vow to oppose the package, many are still praising Speaker Paul Ryan’s handling of the $1.1 trillion spending bill and $680 billion in tax breaks.
“In terms of the process, I can tell you I’ve had more meaningful conversations with the speaker and leadership in the last couple of weeks than I think I have in the last couple of years,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who instigated the revolt against Speaker John Boehner that led to Boehner’s resignation this fall. “I would give it an A-plus in terms of trying to reach out to the rank and file.”
Virginia Republican Dave Brat, a Freedom Caucus member who also sits on the budget panel, said Ryan has also gained support because he has been “credible on regular order” — Congress-speak for empowering committees and rank-and-file members — and has already teed up the budget process for the beginning of 2016, a starting point unheard of in recent years.
“The end product here is just cleaning the barn; it’s a disaster,” Brat said of the spending and tax deal. “We’re breaking our pledge on the budget caps to the American people, we’ve lost fiscal discipline, and we’re throwing it all on the next generation.”
But in the same breath, Brat praised Ryan: “Not only is he saying the right things, he is lining it up to do the right things … and then leadership can’t hijack the budget at the end of the year and throw the kitchen sink, which we just did.”
Praise from members of the conservative flank is a sign that they believe Ryan (R-Wis.) is trying to chart a new course in his nascent speakership. The conservatives feel more included in the process and said Ryan’s staff has been vocal about wanting their feedback. But the lawmakers are also planning to watch the speaker closely in 2016, when they say he’ll have more control over the appropriations process and Boehner can’t be blamed.
To be sure, members of the House Freedom Caucus have little positive to say about the omnibus that will fund the government through 2016. The House is expected to pass the government funding measure Friday with significant help from Democratic lawmakers.
“It’s pretty bad,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Freedom Caucus chairman. “How can you not put the refugee issue in there? It makes so much sense. We were clear that if that goes in and [we get] something pretty good on the pro-life [provisions they wanted], we thought we could get a number of us [to vote in favor]. But that’s not going to happen.”
Jordan led an effort Wednesday to amend the omnibus package to strip out a cybersecurity provision that many conservatives oppose and also include Syrian refugee language. Ryan has said the omnibus is not open for changes.
One Republican priority — lifting a four-decade-old ban on U.S. oil exports — has received some praise from conservatives as a potential job creator. But it wasn’t enough to win many of them over.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said the lifting of the oil export ban is a good thing, but “there are about $1.3 trillion” other reasons to vote against the omnibus.
“[It’s a] very big deal for my district, but I didn’t have a single call about it,” Huelskamp said. “The calls are coming in about Syria. Calls are coming in about life issues. Calls are coming about everything else. Somebody on K Street wanted that, but Main Street didn’t.”
Lawmakers like Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon oppose it because language to increase the vetting standards for Syrian and Iraqi nationals looking to come to the U.S. as refugees was dropped. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) objected to the cybersecurity language, which was added at the last minute. Other Freedom Caucus members pushed for a series of provisions opposing abortion rights that weren’t included.
But the blame for the final product, conservatives say, rests on Boehner and Senate Democrats. Ryan just inherited the mess, they argue.
Instead, they focus on other promises the Wisconsin Republican made when he took the job.
“Paul made some pretty sustainable commitments about things we’ll do next year: a major overhaul of our tax system, welfare reform, replacing Obamacare,” Salmon said. “These are major things. If we do those things and define clearly what we stand for, that’s the best we can hope for.”
Now, I realize that Paul Ryan, sporting his new “man-beard”, just took over as Speaker of the House, after Cryin’ John Boehner got the heck out of Dodge.
And, it is going to take a while for Ryan to straighten out the mess that the spineless Boehner left him.
Additionally, Ryan has made promises that the Conservative Members of the House of Representatives seem to be excited about.
The key word is “PROMISES”.
To paraphrase the current batch of Geico Commercials,
Politicians promise. That’s what they do.
By the way, did you catch in that article, that the Vichy Republicans still want to “replace” Obamacare?
That would be like CBS deciding to replace the rapidly-taking Stephen Colbert with Alec Baldwin.
It would still be horrible.
At least one Congressman gets it, per Breitbart.com…
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) slammed the immigration implications of the year-end spending bill Wednesday, saying the omnibus represents a “betrayal” of voters that fully funds President Obama’s immigration agenda while also increasing the number of low-skilled foreign guest workers allowed.
“The more than 2,000 page year-end funding bill contains a dramatic change to federal immigration law that would increase by as much as four-fold the number of low-wage foreign workers provided to employers under the controversial H-2B visa program, beyond what is currently allowed,” Sessions said in a statement.
The foreign nationals who enter the U.S. on H-2B visas come for low-skilled nonagricultural jobs and work in hotels, construction, landscaping and the like, jobs, Sessions argued, that millions of Americans would like to have.
“At a time of record immigration – with a full 83 percent of the electorate wanting immigration frozen or reduced – the GOP-led Congress is about to deliver Obama a four-fold increase to one of the most controversial foreign worker programs. The result? Higher unemployment and lower wages for Americans,” Sessions continued.
He further quoted the Economic Policy Institute’s conclusion that “wages were stagnant or declining for workers in all of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014,” and that unemployment increased in all but 15 H-2B occupations between those same years. Further, he quoted EPI, “Flat and declining wages coupled with such high unemployment rates over such a long period of time suggest a loose labor market—an over-supply of workers rather than an under-supply.’”
The provision to vastly increase the number of H-2B visas was included in the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill released in the early morning hours of Wednesday. The House is slated to vote on he bill Friday.
According to Sessions, the American people elected Republicans to the majority in Congress in 2014 as a rejection of the Obama administration’s immigration policies.
“That loyalty has been repaid with betrayal,” he said.
In addition to the increase in H-2B visa allowances, Sessions pointed to the lack of conditions placed on the President’s request for increased refugee admissions, meaning Obama could bring in as many refugees — who are immediately eligible for welfare once admitted— as he desires.
”This will ensure that at least 170,000 green card, refugee and asylum approvals are issued to migrants from Muslim countries over just the next 12 months,” Sessions said.
The Alabama lawmaker continued, recalling that in his capacity as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, he send a list of proposals for the omnibus to appropriators intended to “improve immigration enforcement and block presidential lawlessness.” While those proposals were not included, funding for Obama’s refugee effort was.
“The bill also funds sanctuary cities, allows the President to continue issuing visas to countries that refuse to repatriate violent criminal aliens, and funds the President’s ongoing lawless immigration actions – including his unimpeded 2012 executive amnesty for alien youth,” Sessions argued.
Sessions added, “As feared, the effect is to fund the President’s entire immigration agenda.”
He concluded by highlighting the recent frustration Republican voters have voiced, saying that “GOP voters are in open rebellion” because of this bill.
”They have come to believe that their party’s elites are not only uninterested in defending their interests but – as with this legislation, and fast-tracking the President’s international trade pact – openly hostile to them,” he said. ”This legislation represents a further disenfranchisement of the American voter.”
And, boys and girls, that is while “outsiders” are leading the pack of Republican Presidential Candidate Hopefuls.
Americans, such as myself, out here in “Flyover Country”, or as we call it, “America’s Heartland”, are tired of the Republicans, whom we voted into office in the last two Midterm Elections, giving them control of BOTH Houses of Congress, acting like Democrats, exhibiting fiscal irresponsibility, possessing a disdain for their constituents’ concern about Social Issues, and acting with impunity, forgetting who gave them their cushy jobs.
Their deaf arrogance provided the opportunity for a entrepreneur and showman, with no political experience whatsoever, to vault to the top of the Republican Primary.
Trump is playing both the Main Stream Media and the Republican Elite like he is Charlie Daniels and they are the fiddle.
And, in second place, is a Senator, who is actually championing the viewpoint of average Americans.
Ted Cruz is sharper than a Ginsu Knife and his momentum is peaking at just the right time.
As we move toward the Presidential Election of 2016, those Republicans who believe that they can maintain status quo, appear to be heading toward a traumatic shock which will rival the sight of Cailyn Jenner in a bikini.
Strap yourselves in, boys and girls. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Until He Comes,