Fiscal conservatives need Illinois’ lame duck killer

Greg Blankenship Contributor
Font Size:

The current session of Congress is winding down.  Nancy Pelosi has indicated that she wants to adjourn and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has floated the idea of Congress passing a continuing resolution to keep the government running through the election.  Now less than six weeks away from what the pundits are calling a political tsunami, we are finally ready to close the book on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).

Or are we?

To date, not a single one of Congress’ 12 appropriations bills have passed the Senate.  Unless the Democrats pass a continuing resolution through January of 2011, we are guaranteed to see a “lame duck” session.

And if, as we expect, Democrats lose control of at least one chamber of Congress in November, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will have 60 long days left of total one-party control.

Will Nancy Pelosi really give up her gavel without a fight?  Will she really go quietly into the night without one last run at her top-ticket campaign promises: cap-and-trade legislation, immigration reform and card check?

A 12-in-1 massive omnibus appropriations bill will be a Democrat special interest “Christmas Tree” filled with last-minute giveaways, secret earmarks and hidden far-left policy riders.

And if the president is ever going to be able to pass a new value-added tax to help fund his trillion-dollar government takeover of health care, it will need to happen before he loses his Pelosi-Reid rubber stamp.

Fiscal conservatives around the country need to wake up and see what’s coming.  Yes, it’s vital to stand up for Republicans around the country and do our best to take back the House and Senate.  Current polling suggests the House will fall and that the Senate will, at the very least, get a lot closer.

But we cannot let down our guard for the Democrats’ last hurrah in December.  And for that reason, our eyes must turn to Illinois.

Earlier this year, a federal court ordered the State of Illinois to hold two elections for U.S. Senate — a regular election to replace President Obama in the U.S. Senate for the next six years and a special election to serve out the temporary appointment of Roland Burris through January.  That means whoever wins the special election will be seated before any lame duck session of Congress.

Enter Mark Kirk, the Republican candidate for Senate in Illinois dubbed by Marc Thiessen as the “Lame Duck Killer.”  Kirk is a fiscal conservative.  He voted for the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, and wants to see the Bush tax cuts made permanent.  He voted against the stimulus, against the omnibus and against the health care bill.  He has pledged to oppose cap and trade, a value-added tax and any other tax-and-spend legislation in the U.S. Senate.  In sum, we need Mark Kirk to be seated and voting in the lame duck session of Congress.

Having that extra insurance of a 42nd vote in the Senate to uphold a filibuster could prove crucial in stopping a lame duck majority bent on circumventing November’s election results.  Moreover, should the vote to extend the Bush tax cuts come during the lame duck session, that’s one less Democrat vote needed for passage.

I encourage everyone learn more about Mark Kirk, the lame duck and how you can make a difference by visiting www.saveusfromthelameduck.com.

Greg Blankenship is President of the Illinois Alliance for Growth and can be reached at gkblankenship@all4growth.org. The views expressed here are his own.