Politics

Lame Duck Speaker, Lame Deal

GOP Congress again cedes constitutional prerogative, works with Dems to jack up spending

Another day, another Republican abdication. Now two men who are called “Republican congressional leaders,” Sen. Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, are going to agree with President Obama to raise spending by $80 billion over two years.

What is that extra money going to be used for?

Why is Boehner in the talks at all, given that he’s about to leave Congress? Lame ducks produce lame policies.

Why is spending going up now that the GOP controls both houses of Congress?

Why are the other members of Congress simply letting McConnell and Boehner negotiate this deal by themselves? Don’t the rest of them get salaries from the taxpayers? Why are they giving so much power to two men?

Related: Boehner Unchained

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For that matter, don’t we have Appropriations Committees, a Senate Finance Committee, and a House Ways and Means Committee? Aren’t the taxpayers funding those committees and their staffs? What is their role in this process? Why didn’t the GOP Congress simply appropriate the necessary funds to carry out what the government should do?

Why didn’t they do this three months ago?

The legislative branch is not supposed to be a pawn of the executive branch. It is supposed to be a co-equal branch, with an equal say in the government. By giving all their power to McConnell and Boehner, and then allowing McConnell and Boehner to give that power to Obama, GOP members have failed to do their duty to their constituents and to the Constitution.

Merely voting against the deal is not enough — it’s outrageous for the GOP to operate in this manner to begin with.

It should now be obvi57888_sidebarous that Boehner is leaving the House because he knew he was about to give away the store to Obama on this spending deal. He figured this was such a lopsided bargain in Obama’s favor that it would probably end his career anyway. So he figured he’d get out ahead of the story and announce his departure before people realized he had basically gone over to Obama’s side.

Everybody in the House who supports this deal should be primaried, just on principle. The idea that you’re going to let a guy who’s halfway out the door represent the House and set fiscal policy until March 2017 is so outrageous that it can only be defended by people who are not acting in good faith. No wonder they had to do all of this behind closed doors.

Related: Cruz Unfazed by GOP Leaders

And I’m very disappointed in McConnell. I knew he was cynical, but I didn’t realize he apparently has no principles other than trying to remain Senate majority leader. It’s clear we were better off having him in the minority — at least then he occasionally opposed Harry Reid.

This deal is a preview of what will happen if the GOP wins next year. They will bust the budget again, just like they did under W.

It’s not because they have no choice that they go along with Obama. They go along with him because they love to borrow and spend.

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