Opinion

Legislative Lowdown: The war on Republicans

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Brian Darling
Senior Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
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      Brian Darling

      Brian Darling is a senior fellow for government studies at The Heritage Foundation. He writes a weekly “Legislative Lowdown” column for The Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianHDarling.

Now that Mitt Romney has locked down the nod to go against Barack Obama this fall, the left seems to have ramped up its efforts to demonize anybody who disagrees with the president’s dogma. This campaign is in its nascent stages, yet it is already getting ugly.

The left wing has been tossing mud as quickly as it can pick it up in an effort to paint Mitt Romney and all Republicans as women-haters. Look no further than the argument from the left that Republicans have engaged in a “war on women.” Media Matters, the non-profit press shop for the Obama administration, argued that Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-MO) amendment to allow Catholic and other religious institutions to opt out of being forced to fund sterilization, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs was “anti-woman.”

The mud-slinging isn’t limited to women’s issues. President Obama called Paul Ryan’s budget plan “Social Darwinism,” implying that Republicans are dismantling the safety net in a political attack on the poor. This is merely the beginning of a long, dirty war that the left will wage to try and divert the American people’s attention from a dismal economy and soaring gas prices.

Buffett Tax Increase

The Senate is expected to vote on Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-RI) bill, S. 2230, the “Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012,” when it comes back into session. This is legislation to implement the so-called “Buffett Rule.”

Yet a Senate vote on this bill is clearly unconstitutional. The Constitution states in Article 1, Section 7 that “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” This Whitehouse bill is originating in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) won’t let that pesky provision in the Constitution stand in his way; he is expected to force a vote in an effort to paint Republicans as the defenders of the rich.

Conservatives would love to work with liberals on simplifying the tax system, but liberals seem intent on using the idea of tax reform as a pretext to raise more revenues for even more government spending. Look at the fine print of the Whitehouse bill, and you will see that a “married individual who files a separate return” at 50% of the million will pay at the new tax rate of 30%. So the “Buffett Rule” applies to single millionaires and married half-millionaires.

A Fake Senate Budget Resolution

This upcoming week, the Senate Budget Committee is going to mark up the liberal budget resolution for the year. The Senate hasn’t passed a budget resolution for the past two years and one is not expected to pass the full Senate this year. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) appears to be taking up a resolution in committee merely for show, because Senate Majority Leader Reid has stated that he will not bring a budget resolution to the Senate floor.

There may be another reason for this effort. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky (S. Con. Res. 39) and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania (S. Con. Res. 37) have crafted conservative budget resolutions. The Senate parliamentarian seems to be open to allowing consideration of a budget in the Senate this year. Reid may try to use the Conrad budget as a means to block the other two pending conservative budgets.