Free Markets, Free People

The major tasks for the incoming GOP House

As the GOP takes control of the House, one of the first things they’ll do is try to pass a bill repealing ObamaCare.   It won’t get anywhere after the House as everyone knows. I.e. it has more symbolism than real chance of passing.   That symbolism is an important  way for Republicans to underline the rest of their agenda.  The GOP will own the “funding” mechanism in the House.  And that will be significant.  Part of that will be obvious in some of the packages they plan to offer, such as a package of recissions.

Republicans in the House say they plan to move on to offer a far more sweeping package of "recissions," or elimination of spending previously approved, that will aim to bring domestic spending back to where it was before Mr. Obama became president. The skirmish over that proposal for spending cuts, coupled with related fights over government regulation and health care, will set the battle lines for the next two years, as Washington returns to divided government.

If, in fact, the Republicans do this correctly and continue to push it through 2012 regardless of what the Senate or President do to the product of their work (refuse to pass it or veto it), they will set themselves up well for that year’s elections.  As the WSJ notes, if there was a mandate in this election it is “cut spending”.


House Republicans have also set their sights on scaling back environmental regulations and tightening border security.

Actually all regulation should be examined, especially the newly passed regulation.  It should be examined in light of whether it helps create jobs or hinders such creation.  That includes those the EPA is poised to implement or has implemented as well as regulations by other agencies such as the FCC, and any departments which have decided to rule by regulatory fiat.  Again if they do that, the GOP will position themselves well for the next election.

A word of caution though.  Investigations, while proper and necessary to perform the oversight function that Congress is charged with must be kept under strict control and not wander into what most would see as “witch hunts” that are based in partisan politics.  Republican Darrell Issa of California is the incoming chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  He plans extensive hearings on a broad range of subjects, to include Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Medicare fraud, TARP and other issues.  He also intends to look into the practices of the DoJ.

All well and good and definitely necessary – but he needs to conduct all of them as an adult and avoid even the appearance of partisanship unless he wants what he is trying to do to become the headline issue which masks the other work the GOP is attempting.  Do the job, avoid witch hunts, avoid the appearance of partisanship and avoid fiery rhetoric that he has to walk back or explain away, and it is a procedure that again can benefit the GOP in 2012.

This is the Republican’s one-shot chance to show they’ve listened, heard and will put into practice the will of the people.  If not, they’re  on temporary assignment for two years as it should be clear the voters have committed to 3 successive wave elections and are certainly not averse to a 4th.



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16 Responses to The major tasks for the incoming GOP House

  • The “retreat from the Sestak issue” by Issa is because it looks personal, plus all the there that is there is probably already available, so continuing will be a fruitless exercise.  Every investigation should be prefaced by asking how it helps the country, the taxpayers, and the unemployed.  The “Sestak issue” is criminal in a purely political way.
    Usually these sort of things play out in the press, where a sense of shame causes somebody to resign .. this administration has no shame .. at least on this issue. The only way to get their attention would be be if it cut into support for some other priority, but I doubt at this point it would have much impact.
    And ultimately, it would have to go to the DOJ, who would only sit on there hands, even with a winning hand.  Until DOJ is cleaned up, asking them to prosecute a parking ticket is not worth the effort.

    • The “Sestak issue” is criminal in a purely political way.

      …which means that if it was a Republican doing it, the MSM would run 3 months of material on why it was illegal, immoral, and must be stopped.

      • The fact that the “Sestak issue” has gotten as much exposure as it has, frankly makes this whole thing a bit suspect.  Dems would like nothing better than to focus on one of these “political” matters when there are so many other “big fish” out there, that voters can directly associate themselves and their pocketbooks with.
        It’s time for Congress to investigate why Freddie Mac chief financial officer David Kellerman killed himself in April 2009. Who put the pressure on him to cover up the risks of making hundreds of billions of dollars in bad loans?
        While this has the fingerprints of multiple Democrats and Democrats did a better job of exploiting it, this is truly bipartisan.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac either bought or bought off politicians in both parties.  This was the biggest bipartisan “gravy train” in DC for years.

  • Time to wind up those Irony meters!

  • The amount of money is relatively small, but the symbolism is important, I will be very disappointed if one of their first things is not zeroing out NPR and the CPB. And for that matter, the NEA as well.

    • Why is that symbolism so important?
      For the last decade, the GOP has been nothing but symbolism.  They constantly talk about smaller government but do nothing to achieve that goal, and in fact have done just the opposite.  The people want action, not symbols.
      Plucking Big Bird is less that a drop in the bucket, and people will see it as so.
      Can you see the argument?
      We canned Oscar the Grouch – GOP 2012!!

      • It is important to conservatives precisely because it is the easy things that were not done.  The GOP had a chance to close out a lot of things that the federal government has no need or ability to get involved in but they did exactly zero of them.

        If they don’t do at least a few of these this time around it will only cause more cynicism and frustration with both libertarians and conservatives.  They have to at least try.  Furthermore, it is psychologically important because it would breach a taboo, a barrier. The idea that all government programs are sacrosanct and immortal.

        • And it is more than just symbolic. CPB uses taxpayer money to push views and propaganda that are not shared by a majority of those taxpayers. That is a weak form of tyranny.

          • It’s the same thing the public education system does with $$$BILLIONS (now $$$a cool TRILLION nation-wide) of taxpayer money.

    • Yeah, Sesame Street is destroying America’s moral fiber.
      Get ready for that sort of reaction if the GOP is daft enough to take on the CPB.  The savings-to-political-nightmare ratio there is very, very close to zero.

      • doubtfull,  I really don’t know of very many people who are emotionaly attatched to PBS. You wouldn’t be getting rid of them, just cutting government spending, and that is something that people are pushing for in these times.

        • It would be easier if the House would time it until most of them are doing their yearly fund-raising whineathons when trying to cut their government cash flow.  They could hype the effect by talking about the cuts BEFORE the telethons start so the hosts would be sure to whine extra hard about losing their funding.

        • And you know for a show that’s intended to help kids to read and count, we can obviously demonstrate they’re failing in that mission can’t we….

        • Everyone – certainly greater than 75% of the population – has some kind of soft spot for Sesame Street.  If the GOP goes after CPB, that’s what they’re in for.  I think the criticisms will be BS, really, but as a (D) I won’t mind watching the hilarity.

  • re: regulation: economic factors can only be considered if the statute says they can be.  The upshot is that if the House GOP thinks an agency should consider those factors when the statute doesn’t include them, they’ll have to pass a law amending the statute.  Given (D) control of the Senate, that seems unlikely.

  • Not that I have much faith in the leadership of the GOP in Washington, but if any progress is to be made by conservatives, it is going to require a few things.
    First, the media will always hate us, therefore they will always spin whatever is said to make us look bad.  If you want to be thought well of by progressives, you’ve already lost the battle.
    It is the conservative voters who must keep the heat on every last Republican in Congress.  Electing them was only 1/100th of the work needed to right the ship of state.
    What needs to be like a mantra coming out of the mouth of every conservative is: “How does throwing millions or billions of taxpayer money into the bureaucratic pit of [Dept. of Edu., Dept. of Energy, NEA,  Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, etc., etc., etc.,] do a single thing to promote job creation in this country?”
    You, yeah you, every last one of you who claims to be a conservative, needs to speak up on all these issues, if you care more about not angering your liberal family members or friends at parties, then you deserve to suffer through the coming collapse and then you can telling those same people, “I could have told you this was going to happen.”
    Don’t leave it up to the elected conservatives or the pundits and commentators of conservative thought to reach your family and neighbors.  That’s your responsibility.  How much your leftist friends like you isn’t going to be worth a whole lot when you are reduced to living in squalor like North Korea or Cuba.  This subject is worth a whole blog post.  Think I’ll go do that.