Skip to comments.What Would Ted Cruz’s GOP Senate Do?
Posted on 11/04/2014 7:45:12 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Utter foolishness: Thats what Ted Cruz has to say about the agenda Republican leadership is looking to pass in this next meeting of Congress, the lame-duck session. The Texas senator was in Alaska this weekend campaigning for Republican Senate nominee Dan Sullivan, but much of his fire, as always, is being reserved for Republicans themselves.
He doesnt like the idea of passing anything in the lame duck, and he doesnt like what leadership has planned for that session or a GOP-controlled House and Senate.
I think it makes zero sense for Congress to do anything of significance in a lame duck with a bunch of members of Congress who will have just been voted out of office, Cruz says, before going on to hit the agenda that party leaders have outlined for the next Congress, too.
If we have a majority and get together and name a bunch of post offices, that will only demoralize the American people, Cruz says. Republican leaders have bigger plans than naming resolutions, but they have tried to temper conservative expectations for the next Congress.
We are going to have to convince people that we are not going to be perfect, but lets at least move the ball down the field and try to do things many of us have wanted to do for a long time, South Dakotas John Thune, a member of Senate leadership, told the New York Times. And House majority leader Kevin McCarthy has emphasized the need for Republicans to prove we could govern, a line that is becoming something of a refrain from GOP leadership in both chambers.
Thats exactly the wrong way for Republicans to go about leading Congress, Cruz believes. We saw small-bore leadership in the mid 2000s with Republican leadership and its what ushered in the Obama presidency, he says.
Now, Cruz says, We need to stand for principle, emphasizing that Republicans shouldnt limit themselves to passing bills that Obama will agree to sign into law. (One assumes, of course, that some number of leaderships proposals would be vetoed by the president, too.)
The lame-duck session, which takes place after the November elections but before new lawmakers take the oath of office in January, presents the first test for Republicans. Cruz panned McCarthys plan to pass a long-term funding measure before a new Congress is sworn in. It would give outgoing Senate majority leader Harry Reid a final hurrah before Republicans take the reins, he says, something the notoriously combative Cruz is not prepared to do. Instead, Cruz wants to pass a short-term funding measure that would give a Republican Congress some leverage over President Obama if theyre willing to use the power of the purse to push certain policies.
Cruz also thinks Republicans will hurt themselves with too much legislating during the lame-duck session, when some in the GOP want to collaborate with already-defeated Democrats to pass unpopular policies. One issue, for instance, is a little-noticed policy fight that Cruz believes could hamstring the GOPs efforts to win over working-class voters: the Internet sales tax.
That is one of the favorite causes of the corporate lobbyists on K Street, to jack up taxes on millions of mom-and-pop Internet retailers, Cruz he says. Now, that helps all the big businesses at the expense of the little guy.
Cruzs warnings are part of an effort to rally the conservative grassroots against party leadership, but he also believes that passing conservative legislative priorities will help build a broader political coalition.
Cruz says the alternative to the leadership governing platform isnt pie-in-the-sky legislating: He just wants Senate Republicans to take up the hundreds of economy-related bills that have already passed the House and died in a Democratic Senate. House speaker John Boehner has made a habit of protesting Reids pocket veto of GOP proposals, so its possible that the freshman gadfly and Republican leadership could unite behind a number of them.
Some degree of détente could be good for the senators presidential prospects. Where Senator Rand Paul started making alliances with the establishment long ago, Cruz embodies the conservative bases distrust for Republican leadership. Though that sounds like a useful reputation in a Republican primary, you get the sense that Cruz doesnt quite have the public image he wants.
As he tells it, his fights with leadership have taken place mostly because of his unwillingness to play Washington games.
What I have tried to do since the day I was elected to the Senate is two things: Do what I said I would do and tell the truth, he says. It says something about Washington that those are viewed as such radical courses of action.
For instance, he refused to grant unanimous consent to a procedural measure that would have allowed Democrats to raise the debt limit in February without any Republican votes, forcing some Republican leaders to vote for the measure because Cruz was unwilling to support the increase himself.
Cruz has a well known reputation for hectoring Republican leaders, but he wants a political brand that has more general appeal.
He outlined ten priorities for the Republican Congress in a USA Today op-ed earlier this month, which touted several proposals dear to conservative activists repeal of Obamacare, securing the border, congressional investigations of President Obamas administration, and undoing Common Core but didnt put them at the top of the list. Rather, Cruz wrote: First, [Republicans should] embrace a big pro-jobs, growth agenda.
The legislative plan can even feel like an audition for a campaign in a years time. Those who walk the corridors of power in the Obama administration have gotten fat and happy, he says, adding that Republicans will reap political rewards for enacting conservative policies.
If Cruz loses the coming intra-party debate, hell have even more anti-establishment cred come primary season. If he wins, hell have something of a legislative record for the primaries and the general. Either way, Cruzs plan to spar with Republican leadership in 2015 looks to be precisely calculated for 2016.
Joel Gehrke is a political reporter for National Review Online.
Job one would probably be to get all the bills passed by the House that are being held up by the Dems into a vote in the Senate. That would be a good start.
Nothing except draw pictures of Obammy in Senate mens room.
Dear President Cruz,
I agree with Sen. Thune. I do not find his statement demoralizing at all. I
We are not perfect—but there was ever only one Perfect Man—and we nailed Him to a cross.
Ted Cruz for President.
The left has been successful at complaining about the "do-nothing" Congress. And yet in the last 4 years our Republicans in the House have passed 500 pieces of legislation that gets to the Senate where Harried Reid looks at them, sniffs and then hunts for a camera to complain about how the Republican House members are sitting on their hands.
With a Republican Senate, that bottleneck of bills will be laid at the door of the White House and if our side is smart we will make Hussein eat every one of them.
Whether or not he signs anything, we will need to scream to high heaven at how out of touch he is, how lame duck he is.
I personally believe that Hussein will not sign Republican bill, even when being forced to like Old Slick. Let the fact that he has a pen and he refuses to use it become his short term legacy.
I'm already demoralized.
The Republicans have made it very clear that they are only too happy to pass the Obama agenda if they win the Senate. So that will just give the Obama administration BI-PARTISAN COVER for the next two years leading up to the 2016 presidential elections.
Moreover, a Republican Senate victory will prove to the big goverment loving RINOcrats that they don't need the conservative base, on whom they have declared outright WAR, so you can forget about them becoming more conservative anytime soon -- not that we have any more time to wait.
You think it's crazy to say that Republicans intend to pass the Democrat agenda? Consider that:
The Republican leadership is lowering expectations about what they'll do if they take the Senate in 2014.
John McCain is already promising to restore the filibuster and promising to expedite approval of Obama's nominees I will work very hard to go back to 60 votes, said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who boldly predicts a Republican Senate would process Obamas nominees more rapidly than [Democrats] do today.
And as for the House: John Boehner: Very Few Republicans Will Oppose Me
Oh, and best of all, now Republicans are promising that a Senate takeover will increase the odds of passing immigration reform. Republicans: Immigration reform is more likely to happen if we take the Senate
Well at least the Republicans will repeal Obamacare. Oh wait, they won't.
The only SLIM chance we have to save our country at this point is to demonstrate beyond a doubt that the GOPs "moderate" agenda is doomed to fail at the polls.
Only then will we have a chance of having a true conservative Presidential nominee in 2016, and the utter collapse of Democrat credibility after two more years of their control of the Senate.
It is terrible to consider two more years of Democrat Senate Control, but no less terrible to consider the result of GOPe control.
Heh, heh, heh...
Same thing the GOP has been doing for the past six years. Kowtowing to hussein.
Thune has been a great disappointment.
Yesterday romney was cheering and saying “now we’ll be able to pass amnesty”. What is their explanation again of how it will benefit our country? It defies reason and common sense. I’m not sure he isn’t trying to surpress the Republican vote and keep democrats in power.
If the GOPe even imagines that Cruz and the conservatives can gain control over the Senate, Jumping Jim Jeffords will not be alone. I imagine they will get Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins and maybe even Mark Kirk to make a fuss about joining the democrats and giving them the balance of power again. Remember, the GOPe RINOs fear/hate conservatives more than they hate democrats.
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