Government Shutdown? Blame Obama & Reid
by FRANK SALVATO
August 23, 2013
There are two statements one can make with certainty about the current situation inside the beltway. First, truth is a rare commodity. What was promised to be the most transparent administration in American history has proven to, by comparison, make Richard Nixon's Administration look like Wikileaks. And second, the Republican Party, at its highest level, has a lethal messaging problem. These two truths combine for a moment in time when the United States government is not only susceptible to Progressive despotism, but well down the road to succumbing to it.
Where the transparency and honesty of the Obama Administration is concerned, the examples of dishonesty are many. From using the Internal Revenue Service to cripple their ideological and political opponents to advancing fiction as the cause of the slaughter of four Americans by al Qaeda operative in a quest for an election victory, the list of matters ringing dishonest emanating from this administration is profound:
- The IRS scandal
- Benghazi cover-up
- The NSA surveillance scandal
- Spying on the media
- Fast & Furious
- Being able to keep your current coverage under Obamacare
- The Pigford debacle
- Sebelius violating the Hatch Act
- The use of secret emails by agency heads
- Dropping prosecution of the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation
The list goes on and on and on, all the while the mainstream media provides cursory coverage at best, even as they provide rhetorical cover for the administration's misdeeds.
But perhaps the most dishonest misinformation emanating from the Obama White House - and from the Democrat and Progressive controlled Senate, for that matter, is that Republicans want to shut down government. This out-and-out lie was false in 2011 and it is false today.
Since Republicans wrestled control of the US House of Representatives from the talons of Nancy Pelosi and her Progressive coven, the House has satisfied its constitutional obligation to craft and pass a budget, on time, each and every year, including for 2014. Conversely, Democrats and Progressives in the Senate have manufactured gimmicks and excuses to elude their budgetary obligations.
On January 7th, 2013, The Washington Examiner's Byron York wrote:
"Tuesday marks the 1,350th day since the Senate passed a budget. The law requires Congress to pass a budget every year, on the grounds that Americans deserve to know how the government plans to spend the trillions of taxpayer dollars it collects, along with dollars it borrows at the taxpayers' expense. But Majority Leader Harry Reid, who last allowed a budget through the Senate in April 2009, has ignored the law since then.
"There's no mystery why. The budget passed by large Democrat majorities in the first months of the Obama administration had hugely elevated levels of spending in it. By not passing a new spending plan since, Reid has in effect made those levels the new budgetary baseline. Congress has kept the government going with continuing resolutions based on the last budget signed into law.
"While Reid has forbidden action, the House has passed budgets as required. Senate Democrats have been highly critical of those budgets, designed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. But under Reid's leadership, Democrats have steadfastly refused to come up with a plan of their own."
Yet the narrative advanced by Reid, his Democrat Senate cronies and the White House is that it is Republicans who exist as "the party of ‘no'" in the US Congress. The facts, as they present, prove otherwise.
Which leads us to the current misinformation spin being advanced by the Progressives in Washington, DC: The Republicans want to shut down government over Obamacare. Truth be told, even the staunchest TEA Partier in the House and/or Senate has gone on record as not wanting to shut down government.
Article I, Sections 7, 8 and 9, respectively, of the United States Constitution states mandates that the "power of the purse" resides solely with the US House of Representatives:
"All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills..."
"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States..."
"No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time."
A plan being advanced by the fiscally responsible in the US House proposes to fully fund the US federal government, devoid of any funding for the notorious and ill-crafted Affordable Care Act. The facts surrounding the proposal are thus:
- Government funding through the Continuing Resolution will expire on September 30th.
- The House should pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the entire federal government, except for Obamacare. To do so, the Continuing Resolution should include the Defund Obamacare Act (HR2682/S1292) to explicitly prohibit mandatory and discretionary Obamacare spending.
- If Republicans stand together, with 218 votes in the House and
41 in the Senate, we can win. House Republicans should send the Senate a Continuing Resolution that fully funds the government without funding Obamacare, and Senate Republicans should ensure that no Continuing Resolution providing Obamacare funding is signed into law.
- If Republicans do this, President Obama and Harry Reid will falsely accuse Republicans of threatening a government shutdown. But only they control whether to shut down the government just to implement their failed law.
To date, more than 60 House Republicans and 14 Senate Republicans have joined in this effort. The likes of Richard Shelby (R-AL), John McCain (R-AZ), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Roy Blount (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Corker (R-TN), and Orin Hatch (R-UT) have come out against the measure for what can only be construed as purely political reasons.
Given that the Progressives of the Obama White House and the Reid Senate have no issue with crafting falsehoods to advance their political power, Conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians and fiscally conservative Democrats should admit this inevitability. Whether fiscally responsible Republicans fund government devoid of Obamacare or not, Progressives and Democrats - including their sycophants in the mainstream media - are going to blame the GOP for any and all push back on the budget, the debt ceiling and the implementation of Obamacare, no matter what Republicans do.
This makes it all the more frustrating, if not infuriating, that Republicans at the national level - both elected and not - are miserable at messaging. In the last decades Republicans have shown not only a weakness in being able to message; to convey simple cognitive thoughts, to the American people, they have displayed a complete inability to craft and take control of "the narrative," pre-emptively.
And while "establishment Republicans" (many of whom are Progressive elitists in their own right) blame their inability to communicate to the American people on a "facture within the party," this avoids the stark truth that the national Republican party hasn't had a coherent message or employed a potent counter-measure to the Progressive message since the days of Ronald Reagan.
(A note about the "facture within the party: It is more a confrontation between moderate Republicans who have allowed the party to be "nudged" to the ideological Left continuously and without reciprocation during their tenure, and those loyal to the party's charter and tenets circa 1856; those identified as the TEA Party faction of the Republican Party; those advancing the "Defund Obamacare" movement in Congress. To wit, establishment Republicans didn't want Ronald Reagan as their nominee either. He would have been considered a TEA Partier had the movement existed in his day.)
That said, the only thing keeping the Defund Obamacare initiative from saving the country from economic devastation and a nation devoid of individual rights is intestinal fortitude; courage and conviction.
On August 21st, 2013, a gunman, armed with an AK-47 and over 500 rounds of ammunition, entered a Georgia elementary school. Michael Brandon Hill, a 20-year-old man with a history of mental health issues, proceeded to take the school bookkeeper, Antoinette Tuff, hostage, in what could have been yet another senseless tragedy; another murderous rampage. Instead, the situation resolved in Mr. Hill being taken into custody unharmed, the children of the school safe and sound, all because Ms. Tuff had the courage to try to do the right thing. Ms. Tuff talked the would-be gunman into surrendering and seeking medical attention. Because of Ms. Tuff's courage, because of her willingness to put the good of the children before her own self-preservation, everyone involved in the incident lives to see another day: Hill gets the help he needs and the children live to embrace their futures.
That the "establishment Republicans" on Capitol Hill would display the same courage as Ms. Tuff when it comes to doing the right thing; when it comes to making a decision to take a stand; when it comes to placing the good of the people about political self-preservation. Sadly, there are very few Antoinette Tuffs on Capitol Hill. Sadly, there are very few Antoinette Tuff's in the Republican Party.
But there was a time when this was not the case.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative. Mr. Salvato sits on the board of directors for Founders Alliance USA, a solutions-oriented non-profit organization. He also serves as the managing editor for NewMediaJournal.us. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is a regular guest on talk radio across the country.