The headlines following the opening of the current legislative session were terrible:
What was the problem?
For their first act, House Republicans wanted to streamline—or gut—the House Ethics Committee. Rep. John Goodlatte of Virginia (who still heads the House Judiciary Committee. EEK!) wanted to change the name of Office of Congressional Ethics to "Office of Congressional Complaint Review" and to place the office under the House Ethics Committee. Breitbart’s Joel Pollak placed a positive face on this maneuver. The changes were merely meant to eliminate confusion between review and the final judgment of the actual House Ethics Committee. A second revision would require anyone filing a complaint against a member of Congress could not do so anonymously. Even Congressmen have rights, don’t they?
My reaction, however, was twofold:
1. Bad optics: Changing the way that Washington regulates, oversees, and rebukes its members should not be changed at this time. What would have been the first thing that everyone—especially the illiberal yet marginalizing, incredible shrinking Big Media—have thought? “They are gutting oversight!” “There goes the GOP, already covering their tracks to prayer for another legislative cycle of misdeeds!”
Even as a hard-core Republican, the last thing that I want is a repeat of Election 2006, when Abramoff corruption, rampant government bloat, and predation against Congressional pages swept out the Republican majorities ushered in during the Revolution of 1994.
2. Bad timing: The House already pushed the voters’ buttons once. The Republican conference re-elected Paul Ryan as Speaker. Thanks, Thomas Massie for standing your ground, but you should have voted for Dana Rohrabacher. At least Ryan can boast that he endured fewer defections than the Democrats’ signature failure Ms. Nancy of Haight Ashury (and hates reality). The base (including myself) are not happy with Speaker Ryan. He gives off this sanctimonious air that he needs to put himself in the shoes of immigrants, when he should heed the needs of Americans, the men and women who brought Trump to power, and who had sat out Election 2012 when Ryan was the Vice-Presidential contender.
He has a chance to make everything right. To his credit, he opposed the OCE reorganization, as did Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. They need to focus on accomplishing the people’s agenda, then start restructuring ethics rules. They will have established a discernible measure of trust by then.
Listen up, Republican Congress: Americans have a check list of “Must do’s”, and reorganizing the Ethics Committee is not one of them. The grassroots conservatives across the country raised our voices, and the GOP House conference pulled back. They are learning, even if resistant, that we are the bosses. As for all the liberal rags and left-wing eblasts who crowed about this “victory”: quit crowing, because you didn’t force them back. We did.
The good news then, was that this first bad chapter—not even a chapter—in the new Epic called “Making America Great Again” had a welcome turn to it. They GOP listened and learned that we are watching, ready pounce if they step out of line.
And speaking of “Must do’s”, We the People who sent Donald Trump to the White House, and supported Republican majorities in Congress, want the following taken care of:
1. Repeal Obamacare. Vice-President Pence gets it, and announced. I would add that they repeal “every word of Obamacare”, which US Senator Ted Cruz (and hopefully Supreme Court nominee) intoned every time he talked about this above health-care take over from the abortive Obama Administration. Some of my fellow conservative activists in California want the Big Beautiful Wall. For me, getting rid of this rickety, racket entitlement run amok will turn off illegals looking for free stuff. Get rid of the magnet, and therefore ensure that no one is clawing at the soon-to-be …
2. Fund and Build the Big Beautiful Wall. Don’t worry about the big beautiful door. Blue-collar conservative Rick Santorum, and many black Republicans I have spoken to here in California, agree that this country needs to stomp the brakes on immigration. We have too many illegals in the country as it is. There is no excuse—NONE!—for this not getting built.
3. Lower corporate taxes across the board (and income taxes, too). Let’s make the Bush Tax Cuts for everyone, including the elusive 1%, which includes small businesses. Trump is making commerce great again, and this repeal.
4. Defund and exit the United Nations. Trump has questioned the existence and our presence in this grandiose, globalist waste of money. Let’s put the $3 billion a year into building the Wall, fixing our roads, and healing our veterans.
5. Enact national reciprocity for concealed-carry (already on its way!)
6. Pass National Right To Work Act. Protect worker and workplace freedom for all. Essentially, this law would make Scott Walker’s Act 10 a national reality. Watch the Democrats tremble!
7. Repeal the church-muzzling Johnson Amendment in the tax code.
Let’s not forget the US Senate Republicans’ separate responsibilities.
7. Vet and appoint Justice Scalia’s replacement. I can think of very few judicial candidates who would match Scalia’s wit, erudition, and integrity (Ted Cruz!). Majority Leader McConnell should dispatch Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to plan with Trump’s transition team.
8. Confirm Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. While finalizing the SCOTUS nominee, Grassley and company need to line up votes for Trump’s cabinet picks, particularly their esteemed colleague Jeff Sessions. In my view, he should be the first nominee after the SCOTUS pick because the lawlessness of the Obama administration must be overturned immediately.
Republicans, you are our party, and we expect you to dance to our tune.
If you screw up, prepare for us to say “You’re Fired!” Get to work!