Congress

Congress must pass U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Vice President Mike Pence, Washington Post

After striking this new deal with our two most important trading partners, the United States needs to lead once again - which means Congress must do its part and pass the USMCA. As I've traveled across the country to discuss the merits of this historic trade deal, I've seen firsthand how important the USMCA is to the American people and to American businesses. Whether it was textile manufacturers in North Carolina, farmers in Minnesota, auto workers in Michigan or energy producers in Texas, they all agreed: The USMCA is a great deal, and Congress needs to act now. Trump has done his job. Now it’s time for the Congress to do its job - and pass the USMCA.

Democrats Try Extra-Constitutional Plan To Revive ERA

Radical feminists and Far Left Democrats are trying to revive the ERA without going back to Congress and passing a new proposed constitutional amendment. Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14) has introduced H.J.Res.38 in an attempt to bypass the biggest constitutional roadblock to the ERA’s revival; its failure to meet the 1982 extended deadline.

Conservatives to Congress: No Two-Year Spending Caps Deal

With federal spending reaching record levels, the conservative leaders of the Conservative Action Project released the following memo to Congress regarding a rumored deal to break the existing spending caps and drive the deficit even higher.

Angry About Border Conditions? Blame Congress

Rachel Bovard, American Greatness

The problem with the Democrats’ current outrage is not necessarily the subject matter. It’s fine to call out terrible conditions where they exist. But the problem arises when the outrage appears politically expedient. And it’s compounded when Democrats refuse to act on any viable solutions. Everything CBP, HHS, and ICE are doing complies with existing federal law. The agencies are underfunded, understaffed, and undermined by the selective outrage of Democrats who apparently have just awakened to these problems and would rather virtue signal than address them meaningfully. Democrats either have no solutions to the border crisis, or offer inexplicable ones like “fixing climate change.”

Trump Must Choose: War President or Anti-Interventionist

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

If war is to be avoided, either Iran is going to have to capitulate, or the U.S. is going to have to walk back its maximalist position. And who would Trump name to negotiate with Tehran for the United States? The longer the sanctions remain in place and the deeper they bite, the greater the likelihood Iran will respond to our economic warfare with its own asymmetric warfare. Has the president decided to take that risk? We appear to be at a turning point in the Trump presidency. Does he want to run in 2020 as the president who led us into war with Iran, or as the anti-interventionist president who began to bring U.S. troops home from that region that has produced so many wars?

Billion-Dollar Binge Buying Is No Way to Budget

Sen. Joni Ernst and Adam Andrzejewski, Real Clear Politics

Billion-dollar binge buying is no way to budget, which is why I am introducing the End-of-Year Fiscal Responsibility Act. This bill would limit an agency’s spending in the last two months of the year to no more than the average it spent per month during the preceding 10 months.  This limit only applies to discretionary spending. Entitlement payments, like Social Security and Medicare, and national security-related expenditures would be exempt and unaffected. This bill won’t end all wasteful spending, but it will force agencies to put more thought into long-term planning and curtail the out-of-control impulsive spending.

Brian Lamb Retires: How C-SPAN Started the Revolution Against TV’s Liberal Gatekeepers

By Richard A Viguerie, CHQ Chairman
Brian Lamb’s idea that, “We’re better off listening to everyone, no matter what they say, rather than us being the gatekeeper,” looks even more revolutionary today, in the era of social media censorship of conservatives, than it did in 1979 when he started C-SPAN.

Thanks for the tax cut. It's time for a second act

Editors, Washington Examiner

First, further raise the standard deduction, to moot itemized deductions for all but the very wealthiest Americans. Second, lower the amount of mortgage interest that is deductible and bar deductions on mortgages for second homes. At this point, the number of people itemizing will be even smaller than it is today, and the difference between their itemized deductions and the standard deduction will be smaller. That will make the third and final step easier: Totally abolish the deductions for mortgage interest and state and local taxes. If Democrats believe what they say they believe — that the wealthy game the tax code too much, and the tax code should be more progressive — they’ll go along with this next step of tax reform.

Stop the Federal Land Grab

Stephen Moore, The American Spectator

The first big step that Trump could make in preventing any slippery slide in Socialism's direction would be to veto the Land and Water Conservation Fund bill which would enable the federal government to spend $9 billion to purchase millions of acres of private lands for “conservation.” What? Uncle Sam is going to take out of private hands millions more acres of America’s valuable land mass? This is the reverse of privatization — it is the nationalizing our nation’s farm land, forests, streams, and pastures.

Sharyl Attkisson: The Government Has Rigged The Rules To Avoid Accountability

After years without turning over a single document in response to dozens of Sharyl Attkisson’s subpoenas, the government now argues that her case should be dismissed, in part, because she hasn’t learned the names of the “John Doe” federal agents to insert in the lawsuit; names which only the government knows and has refused to divulge.

How to Term-Limit Congress

Doug Bandow, National Review

Term limits most directly prevent politicians from turning office-holding into a career, spending 30 or 40 years as a congressman or senator, hanging on until they can barely function. Term limits are no panacea. Only an aware, active, and enlightened citizenry can make a republic work. However, term limits would improve such a people’s chances of success. The current system is biased toward the ever-expanding, ever-more-expensive state. Weakening the political class would give the rest of us a chance.

How Democrats came to love 'coequal'

Byron York, Washington Examiner

The bottom line is the House is one-half of a coequal branch of government. The speaker of the House is enormously powerful in the House. If she can persuade majorities, and sometimes supermajorities, of House members, and then majorities, and sometimes supermajorities, of the Senate to go along with her, she can block the president's agenda and exert enormous power in the government. But by herself — not so much. The system simply was not designed for a head-to-head equal competition: the president versus the speaker. It doesn't work that way.

New Poll: Most Americans Believe the Government Spies on Journalists, Like Sharyl Attkisson

A new poll from Rasmussen Reports confirms the damage done by the Obama-era abuses by the FBI and other intelligence agencies and gives further evidence that Americans are on the side of investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson and others who are trying to rip the veil of secrecy off Obama’s domestic spying operations.

Getting to Yes on FIRST STEP

The Editors, National Review

We are far more skeptical of “justice reform” than are many on the left, and even many on the right. Our sympathies lie first and foremost with the victims of crime, not with those who commit it. But FIRST STEP, with Cruz’s amendment as he has described it, focuses specifically on the aspects of the federal system that that are overly punitive, sometimes horrifyingly so. Congress should comb through the final text looking for any outstanding issues, fix them as needed, and pass it.

House Democrats Debate Term Limits for Committee Heads

John Fund, National Review

Once voters begin to catch on that the new Democratic bosses of the House are much like the worst of the old GOP bosses — to the extent that they spurn change and cling to power at all costs — they may reconsider what they did last November. If Democrats focus on impeaching President Trump while keeping reactionary supporters of the status quo in power, they might find that their new House majority won’t last very long. Their last stint in power was four years long. It could be even shorter this time.

Rosenstein talks to press, but not to Congress; Republicans irate

Byron York, Washington Examiner

"Rosenstein is trying to run out the clock, hoping the Democrats win control of the House and knowing he'll never be called to account for anything if they do," Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said in a text exchange Wednesday night. "Instead of investigating the violation of Americans' civil liberties by powerful officials like him, he knows the Democrats would focus on concocting more ridiculous conspiracy theories to feed to the media and to the special counsel." Whatever Rosenstein is doing, time will certainly run out for the current Congress.

Our border crisis grows worse as Washington sits on the sidelines

Jenny Beth Martin, The Hill

It makes more sense to secure the border first, and only then worry about what to do about the illegal immigrant population that’s already here. “When your faucet is leaking and you’ve got water on the floor, the first thing you do is fix the leak, then you mop up the floor.” It’s common sense. Sadly, common sense is in short supply in Washington these days. Perhaps more senior officials at Homeland Security and the Justice Department should spend time with their frontline troops along the border as I just did. I’d be happy to make some introductions.

Social Security's solvency keeps getting worse, and Congress keeps doing nothing

Editors, Washington Examiner

In the midst of the Great Depression, millions of elderly persons lived in poverty. Today, the poverty rate for those 65 and older is only 9 percent, compared to 11 percent for adults 19-64. While life expectancy improved by 17 years from 1935 to 2014, the Social Security retirement age has increased by less than two years. But to get reforms moving, Republicans and President Trump need to simply start talking about this crisis now. Reforms can't just be sprung on constituents during a lame-duck session or after 2020. The longer they wait, the worse this crisis gets.

Republican high noon: Time for a Capitol Hill showdown

Editors, Washington Examiner

Political headwinds face the GOP in November. There are signs that the blue Democratic wave may be less overwhelming than it seemed two months ago. But the odds of losing at least one chamber are high. Republicans ought to use every parliamentary tool at their disposal, such as budget reconciliation, and take on every big issue, such as Obamacare repeal. Success isn’t guaranteed, but failure is inevitable if Republicans don’t even try.

Congress drives its muck-spreader across farms again

Editors, Washington Examiner

The government should get out of farming entirely. Sadly, the only part of the farm bill that seems to be on the chopping block is the food stamp program, which assuredly needs reform. Food stamp rolls are 50 percent higher than they were before the financial crisis, 42 million households, up from 28 million in 2008. But if you’re getting tough on people making $30,000 a year, it is also time to stop sending fat checks to farmers with six-figure incomes. This won’t happen until the party supposedly committed to free enterprise stops voting for farm socialism.