Filibuster in Danger in Lame-Duck Session
Liberals don’t like the filibuster. They want to rid the Senate of it in the next few weeks so newly re-elected Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) can exclude Republicans from all aspects of the legislative process. Conservatives should watch closely to see if Reid tries to exterminate the filibuster from the Senate rules without a fair vote.
Conservatives need to fight any change of the filibuster rule. Without it, the Obama Administration and Sen. Reid will ignore the will of the American people. Reid and his allies will railroad through left-wing nominees to the courts and the executive branch—in short, transforming America without legislation.
Rule 22 of the Senate rules establishes that 60 senators are needed to shut down debate on a bill or nomination. This rule is sacrosanct. The rule protects the rights of individual senators to extend debate and offer amendments. It protects the American people from politicians’ passing legislation quickly without the input of the populace.
If Reid uses a procedural tactic to rid the Senate of the filibuster—and all he needs are 50 Senate allies to do it—he can pass every piece of legislation sitting on the Senate calendar.
The Tea Party Caucus
The American people made it clear that they want to stop overspending, over-regulation and over-reaching on healthcare. The voters want a smaller government, more modest in scope—one that abides by the Constitution and is more competent in the things the U.S. Constitution empowers it to do.
Tea Party Sen.-elect Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) declared on election night, “I have a message; we have come to take our government back.” Paul, along with Sen.-elect Marco Rubio (R.-Fla.) will be strong forces in trying to do this. Rubio declared that “we make a great mistake if we believe that tonight’s results are an embrace of the Republican Party.” The Tea Party movement has given the Republican Party a second chance to prove that it can shrink government and promote free-market policies.
House Republican Leader and presumptive-Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) said the day after the election, “it is pretty clear that the American people want us to do something about cutting spending here in Washington and creating an environment where we will get jobs back in our country.” It sounds like Boehner has heard the American people and will bring that agenda to the House of Representatives.
President Obama Ignores the Will of the People
The President gave a rambling press conference after Election Day in which he actually said that “the relationship I have had with the American people is one that built slowly, then peaked at an incredible high” and that he expects “more ups and downs” over the next few years. The President refused to admit bearing guilt for the political blood bath inflicted on members of his party in the House and Senate. He seems intent on forging forward with a far left-wing agenda that ignores the will voters expressed last week.
Congress comes back into session next week for a lame-duck session. Conservatives need to watch five legislative items: “climate change” legislation, a massive omnibus spending bill, the Debt Commission, a massive tax increase and the New START Treaty.
Climate-change legislation sits in the Senate and is ready to be taken up by the Senate if Reid exterminates the filibuster and attempts to muscle the bill through the Senate to the President’s desk. Congress is secretly crafting an omnibus spending bill that contains money for every discretionary government program for the next year. It is expected to be loaded with special projects and earmarks. If Congress approves it, expect voters to be angry again.
The President’s Debt Commission is expected to issue a report to Congress in early December. Nobody knows if this report will contain a tax increase as a means to balance the budget, but if it does it should be dead on arrival. Also, low tax rates will be raised on all Americans if Congress does nothing to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts before the end of the year. Finally, the Senate may attempt to pass the New START arms-control treaty, which would diminish missile defense.
All of these ideas would be a disaster for America. Tea Party voters are prepared to inflict political pain on both Republicans and Democrats in the next election if they dare defy the will of the American people – yet again.