https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-kevin-mccarthy-republican-leverage-omnibus

Record excess deaths and illness, record inflation, record supply shortages, record crime, record illegal immigration, a bureaucracy that surveils, spies on, and persecutes political opponents, and a collapsing culture that teaches grooming and racism in school. Never has an incumbent party been this vulnerable headed into a midterm election, and never has an emerging opposition party been granted so much political capital to change course following that election. Yet unless Kevin McCarthy, the presumptive speaker in waiting, uses his robust clout within the party to oppose the impending omnibus bill, the entire leverage and political capital of the midterms will become worthless.

Money (budget bills) talks, congressional hearings walk. House Republicans are salivating to hold hearings on some (but not all) of the aforementioned criminal acts of the Biden administration, but no relief will come to the American people absent the use of the budget process as leverage to force changes in funding and policy on the most contentious issues of our time. Republicans know all too well that any stand-alone messaging bill (much less a mere hearing) will die in the Senate and will not become law. Placing those priorities, however, in budget bills and standing behind them is the only way to force a national debate and brinksmanship over the issues that matter. But that leverage is now hanging by a thread.

In late September, 22 Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, voted for a continuing resolution to fund the government and all its immoral and illegal tyranny until December 16. Rather than filibustering the bill until our grievances are redressed or extending the deadline into next year so that a GOP-controlled House could rewrite the budget, they kicked it until right before Christmas break with the intention of passing an omnibus bill. Unless there is a massive campaign from inside and outside the GOP ranks, Republican senators will cut the legs out from under the new majority by funding Biden’s autocratic government without reforms all the way until fiscal year 2024.

One obvious player in this has been jarringly silent. Kevin McCarthy will likely become the most important Republican in America as the presumed speaker of the House next year. He will fully control the body of government closest to the people and the one that is fully controlled by the majority party. Of all people, he should have been lying down on the tracks in opposition to allowing Democrats to write the budget for the rest of the fiscal year, thereby undercutting his entire leverage to fight any of Biden’s extremely unpopular policies in the budget as soon as he commands the gavel in January. Yet he was stone silent and remains so to this very day. It was only the Freedom Caucus that demanded the budget be extended into early next year with an expiration deadline that would empower the new House majority.

Which begs the obvious question: What is McCarthy’s motivation in becoming speaker, and what exactly does he plan to do? If he fails to publicly call on McConnell to pass a simple CR in December rather than a full-year omnibus, that would be a sign that he views the budget leverage as a liability to be avoided rather than an opportunity – the only legislative opportunity – to bring our two years of grievances to the brink.

If McCarthy were true to his campaign rhetoric, he would demand that McConnell pass a CR until February. Here is how it would play out. As soon as he becomes speaker, he would work on a budget bill for the remainder of FY 2023 for a month. That bill would contain some or all the following provisions:

  • Prohibiting all funding for Pfizer and Moderna COVID products.
  • Ban on all bio-medical mandates, with civil and criminal fines for government workers who defy the law.
  • Prohibiting all funding for granting any release, transportation, or status to illegal aliens crossing the border.
  • Prohibiting all new funding for Ukraine.
  • Prohibiting all FBI actions taken against political opponents and severe defunding of most of the agency’s operations.
  • A complete reversal of the “Inflation Reduction Act,” along with the funding for the 87,000 IRS agents and the climate mandates.
  • A complete defunding of all mandates and regulations that encumber our energy, food production, and supply.
  • A complete defunding of all transgender policies in the federal government.

Every day, Republicans would give speeches and do media drawing attention to the devastating consequences of each of the aforementioned policies and why they need to be blocked and defunded. Then they would pass their version of the budget and dare the Senate and White House to decline to sign it in favor of promoting the terrible policies the American people just voted against.

Try to imagine the leverage McCarthy would command during those months. Let’s say Republicans win 52 seats in the Senate, 240 seats in the House, 30 governorships, and a record number of legislative chambers. They will never amass more political capital than at that critical juncture to finally fight for our prerogatives. Yet by remaining silent and allowing McConnell to kick that leverage until late next year, the election mandate will have dissipated. Moreover, with so many people dying from the COVID policies, lives destroyed from the energy and food crises, political opponents literally being rounded up by the FBI, and hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens pouring into the country every single month, we cannot afford to wait any longer.

Yet waiting is exactly what McCarthy wants. He wants to be able to wash his hands of any ability to actually effect change by having McConnell cleanly toss the fight before it begins. That way he can focus on non-must-pass stand-alone legislation that he knows will never go anywhere, along with hearings that will never bring policy changes. Then he will point to all of that amazing work and say, “Look, this is why we need to win the next election and get the presidency, at which point all will be good.”

Except all will not be good. I shudder to think what will become of us in two years from now based on how autocratic this government has become over the past two years.

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