Heritage Action’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Chapman picked the political winners and losers of 2015, and named the newly-formed House Freedom Caucus, Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, grassroots conservatives and outside candidates for president as “winners.”
The soft-spoken Meadows in particular got Chapman’s praise in this exclusive interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation for “sticking his neck out and filing a motion to vacate the chair” of former House Speaker John Boehner last July.
“Everyone looked at him like he had horns growing out of his forehead,” Chapman said. Meadows, however, united citizens across the country and “started a parade” of people who wanted a new speaker.
But after watching the bloated, Republican-supported omnibus bill pass in December — which grants President Barack Obama his political and spending agenda until September 2016 — current House Speaker Paul Ryan‘s actions look similar to Boehener’s. It was “underwhelming and looks a lot like what Speaker Boehner would have done,” Chapman said.
Chapman thinks Republicans should have fought for a national security rider in the spending bill. “We need three co-equal branches,” Chapman said. When you have the American people at your back on an issue like national security, federal spending and the federal footprint in people’s lives, you actually had the political ability to reassert that constitutional role, Heritage Action’s COO explained. He believes the failure to use the omnibus as leverage on national security will make it “harder to get off on the right foot” in 2016.
The “loser” of 2015, Chapman said, was the entire Washington establishment — a group that found it exceedingly difficult for the town’s “ruling class to push their agenda over any finish line.” But according to Chapman, “We are moving in the right direction.”
Gun control is “the Left’s shiny object,” the COO said in the interview, and is a talking point liberals use in any crisis to gain power and advance their ideological agenda. Chapman said the bottom line is that none of the policy changes offered on guns will remedy the problem of keeping Americans safe. Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio pointed this out in December, and even the Washington Post had to admit it was true. Besides, Chapman says, liberals want Americans dependent on government, not themselves, for personal security.
In the interview, Chapman added Donald Trump is becoming the candidate for disenfranchised citizens. When “business as usual” or minor changes that don’t connect with voters are pursued by Republicans, Trump gains support as a disruptive force in our unresponsive political system.
Asked why Republicans seem unwilling to “fight” the fundamental transformation by Obama and his allies, Chapman said “even the true believers in Congress don’t believe in their constitutional authority and ability to win a confrontation with the president.” There is an unfortunate “crisis of confidence” in the Republican Congress, with both the media and their own leaders telling Republicans they will never win any confrontation with Obama.
As America endures an unresponsive Republican Congress, Heritage Action uses its 12,000 and growing “sentinels,” or citizen activists who have a downstream reach on 1.4 million others, to embolden the feeble Republican Congress.
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