Senate Gives Mandate the Heave Ho Ho Ho

December 9, 2021

We know what Joe Biden wants for Christmas -- a break from the hot seat. In normal times, he might have gotten it. Usually, the holidays are a great distraction from everything that's happening in Washington -- unless what's happening in Washington is affecting everything Americans are doing for the holidays. For this president, there's no fading into the snowy background when shoppers are paying twice as much for presents -- if they can get them at all!

The Biden presidency has been such a disaster that not even the media's absurdly flattering coverage can bail him out. And in the White House's alternate universe, that's exactly the problem. The press hasn't been favorable enough, reporters were told at an off-the-record meeting with senior administration officials. So his cheerleaders kicked it into even higher gear -- complaining, as the Washington Post's Dana Milbank did -- that the media has been harder on Biden than Donald Trump. No reasonable human being could possibly believe that, NRO fired back. And yet, Milbank whined that the "Left-wing media is tough on him... He has no real support as he tries to" -- get this -- "rebuild the organs of democracy."

To be fair, there's no washing machine big enough to spin the kind of crises this president has created. Even the corrupt media has done the best they could with the messes they've been asked to tidy up. But at some point, not even the press's subterfuge can hide the truth about Afghanistan, the border, inflation, gas prices, crime, COVID overreach, and so much more. The president has been humiliated by the courts, spurned by voters, mocked by world leaders, and -- on Wednesday -- chastened by both parties of the U.S. Senate.

Using one of the best weapons Congress has to rein in the executive branch, Republicans and two Democrats forced a vote on Biden's vaccine mandate for private businesses. Through the Congressional Review Act, the two chambers can overturn a rule like this one with a simple majority and the president's signature. That might sound like a long shot (and it is), but this is more than political posturing. This is an opportunity to a) get both parties on the record about the president's mandate; b) show the country that this Republican Party is willing to stand up against the administration and its overreach.

The two Mississippi senators -- Roger Wicker (R) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) -- tag-teamed on the resolution, which passed 52-48, thanks to help from Democrats Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Jon Tester (Mont.). Before the vote, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) stopped by "Washington Watch" and predicted it would pass. "I think it backs up what I said when the president... issued the mandate to private business[es]... I thought it was unconstitutional at that time." Grassley, like a lot of people, thinks Biden should have asked Congress to pass legislation instead of unilaterally ordering Americans to get the shots. "That probably would be unconstitutional too," Grassley said, but at least members could have voted on it.

The Congressional Review Act gave them the voice that the president didn't. "It gives Congress a chance to express our view that we disagree with the president, and it's called the Congressional Review Act... Now it has to go to the House, [and] they may not overturn it, but I welcome an opportunity to show the people of Iowa that I don't think the federal government should be violating personal freedom and telling people what to do. I happen to think [the] vaccine is a good thing. I would advise people to get it, but I'm not going to have the government force people to do it. They ought to make that choice their own. And they shouldn't listen to politicians -- they ought to listen to their doctor about what's right for them."

And the courts seem to agree. This past Tuesday, another judge pushed the pause button on Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors, saying it was "costly, laborious and likely to result in a reduction in available members of the workforce," not to mention, of course, unconstitutional.

Like most Leftists, the president isn't used to striking out in the courts. But, as Grassley -- the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, pointed out -- "We're getting back to the point where the rule of law and... strict interpretation of the Constitution is paramount now in the Supreme Court of the United States, and that's going to make the principle of limited government more important than ever -- because the federal government can't do anything the Constitution doesn't allow it to do... And that's why what we're doing today in the pursuit of freedom on this congressional review vaccine thing is so important."

As for Biden living in denial about his failed policies, the seasoned Grassley said, "You've got to realize [that] Washington, D.C. is an island surrounded by reality. The common sense outside of this town -- particularly midwestern common sense -- is what's lacking here. And that's why they try to get away with it." But based on the president's new approval numbers, he's not getting away with much of anything. The president is cratering with independents, Democrats, white college graduates, and even the under-45 crowd. Only 16 percent of the adult population strongly approves of the job he's doing, according to NPR's poll. And the intensity of the disapproval is high, the outlet warns. That doesn't bode well for Biden, Democrats, or -- we hope -- his wildly out-of-step agenda.