Salmon Not Lured by Leaders' Party Line
Following the rules may not matter to the President's party--but writing them certainly does. Why? Because, as Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) explains, that's where the real legislating is done. "If you let me write the procedure and I let you write the substance," said Democratic Congressman John Dingell (D-Mich.), "I'll [beat] you every time." Congressman Salmon harkened back to that quote in a bold new op-ed for the Washington Times, where he challenges the conservatives to rise up and "dare to be fiscally responsible."
Salmon, who returned to Congress this year after serving three terms in the mid-90s, says he was driven back to Washington by America's shocking financial situation. A situation, he points out, that is more dysfunctional than ever. Back in the day, Rep. Salmon explains, conservatives were willing to challenge the GOP leadership when they got "off track." The strategy was simple. "One tactic we used was to vote against House rules on specific bills that did not uphold conservative principles."
Essentially, the rules--like the one governing whether members could add amendments to the government's short-term funding bill--decide how long the bill's debate is and how many attachments will be allowed. For reasons unknown to most voters, members will support a rule to a bad bill and then vote against the actual legislation. Congressman Salmon wants to know why "a self-described fiscal conservative would enable the passage of the bad bill by supporting the rule?"
From now on, he writes, "I will vote against the rule for bills that increase spending without offsetting spending cuts and encourage my other conservative colleagues to do the same. Similarly, if House leadership brings any more bills to the floor without first securing the support from the majority of the GOP conference, I will take the same action. If enough of my conservative colleagues in the House join me, we can unilaterally put an end to the growth of government..."
Republicans need to start a revolution, Salmon says--and we agree. This is one of the most conservative Houses of Congress ever--but its power is being squandered by GOP leaders who are unwilling to take the necessary risks to limit government and save America. More members need to rise up--as Rep. Salmon and 15 others did in the CR debate--and challenge a GOP leadership that is more focused on preserving the majority than using it to get America back on track. Voters have had enough of Republicans babysitting the nation's decline. It's time to move from a party who's scared to a party who dared.
Dog Handler Puts a Bo on White House Spending
If the President really wanted to furlough something under the sequester, why not ObamaCare? It would have saved the country a lot more money, spared federal workers, and been cheered by most Americans! Instead, the Obama administration went after the headline grabbers, canceling White House tours and closing Great Smoky campgrounds--even as it spares no expense on a $102,000 "handler" for First Dog Bo.
If the situation is as dire as the administration would have us believe, then surely it's time to reexamine a program with a $2,500,000,000,000 trillion price tag. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) certainly thinks so and is already drafting an amendment to that effect. If the Senate decides to open up its version of the continuing resolution, or CR, to amendments, Sen. Cruz will make sure a measure to defund ObamaCare is one of them. And after this weekend, it looks like he has some company in the fight. Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are all lining up behind the cause--even if its prospects of passage are slim.
The CR, said Marco Rubio, is "a perfect opportunity for us to have a debate once again on ObamaCare. I don't think there's been enough attention paid to it. It's been awhile, we've moved onto these other issues, but there is, right now out there, probably nothing more damaging to our economy in the short term than this implementation of ObamaCare." This temporary resolution, explained Sen. Rubio, has the potential to do something permanent: rid America of a law that devastates freedom, conscience, the economy, and patient-driven care.
Although the House already approved its version of the CR, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) promised to continue the fight in the chamber's next budget proposal. During an interview on "Fox News Sunday," anchor Chris Wallace pooh-poohed the idea of zeroing out ObamaCare. "That's not going to happen," Wallace told the former Vice Presidential candidate. Rep. Ryan didn't blink. "We believe it should," he fired back. "That's the point. This is what budgeting is all about. It's about making tough choices to fix our country's problems. We believe ObamaCare is a program that will not work."
Marriage: On a Case by Case Basis
Justice Anthony Kennedy made plenty of news last week when he said that the Supreme Court may be getting too powerful for its own good. Major policies in a democracy shouldn't depend "on what nine unelected people from a narrow legal background have to say," he told a Sacramento crowd. Unfortunately for America, that isn't stopping one of the most important policies in America from being decided by his Court in two weeks. In two landmark marriage cases, Kennedy and his peers will be weighing whether or not to change an institution that has been the bedrock of civilization since time began. In an interview with the Washington Times, FRC's Peter Sprigg warns--as others do--that imposing same-sex "marriage" on all 50 states would be the Roe v. Wade of America's unions. Others agree: a ruling to that effect could leave the country in irreparable turmoil. In a brief from 19 state attorneys general, the leaders note that America is still very much divided on the issue and asked the court not to dilute democracy "by declaring a winner of the marriage debate."
As FRC's own Pat Fagan points out, Supreme Court justices are the ones who put the institution of marriage on its path to decline almost 40 years ago. In Eisenstadt v. Baird, "the Court... unleashed sex's destructive power detached from marriage. The Court could see rights to contraceptives in the shadow of the Constitution, but could not see what a blind man could: the right of every child to married parents." Read how the activist court in this case changed marriage--and the country--in Dr. Fagan's new feature for Public Discourse by clicking here. Also, don't miss FRC's new video, "Stand for Marriage," below.
** What does Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster have to do with Osama bin Laden's son-in-law? Find out in Ken Klukowski's new Breitbart column.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.