Despite a disappointing midterm, Republicans squeaked out a victory in the House — barely. But the chaos in unifying around a speaker, not to mention an obstinate Joe Biden at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue and a Democrat-controlled Senate is already tempering expectations.
But Republicans have always looked at power differently than liberals. When Democrats have it they do as much as possible to change society, culture and the country. Almost always for the worse. It’s why Biden & Co. will never moderate. (RELATED: MIKE MCKENNA: What Congress Should Do Heading Into The New Year)
Democrats knew, for example, they’d take a beating in 2010 over the passage of Affordable Care Act (ACA). But you know what? Obamacare’s still here and once single-payer liberals retook control of Congress they successfully expanded it all the way to the brink of socialized medicine.
The American Rescue Plan combined with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) made sure ACA subsidies don’t fade out until income limits for a family of four are well into six figures. Add the massive expansion of Medicaid and the left has achieved their goal by not caring about the next election — in 2010 or 2022.
Yet when Republicans gain power they immediately look to the polls and the press. That means a constant fine-tuning of policy or legislation caught between some disgraced Lincoln Project pollster and a few hawkish members in safe districts looking to bolster their conservative bona fides to ward off a primary.
Kevin McCarthy may not have engaged the fiscal brinkmanship necessary to thwart Mitch McConnell’s $1.7 trillion Omnibus capitulation, but can there be any doubt that it is Senate Republicans who have so demoralized the GOP base? (RELATED: DEROY MURDOCK: Mitch McConnell Transformed The Senate GOP Into A Wishing Well For Democrats)
So what’s a House majority to do, regardless of who leads it?
Well, without putting too fine a point on it, disgruntled Republicans want their elected leaders to do exactly what Democrats do when they have power. Put the investigatory pedal to the metal and don’t get anywhere near Frank Luntz or Chad Pergram.
Legislation will be hard to come by but the House can start by making the Trump tax cuts permanent before another “deal” rescinds the rest of it. The IRA is set impose new taxes on oil, gas and coal making a mockery of Biden’s pledge not to raise revenue on the backs of middle class families.
Add to that the bill’s “book income” and share-buyback excise tax and it’s safe to say the economy will be all the weaker right along with the average shareholder retirement account.
On the contrary, an Americans for Tax Reform analysis shows that on its 5th anniversary, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (which I was proud to support in Congress) did indeed deliver substantial relief across the board with the largest reductions for those making under $75,000.
Making it permanent won’t get out of the Senate but let Democrats and the GOP’s “dirty dozen” vote against it. After that, it’s on to the Republican version of a “For the People’s Act.” H.R. 1 was the first bill introduced once the Democrats took control of the House in 2019. (RELATED: REP. BOB GOOD: Weak And Compromised Republicans Have Unleashed A Spending Monstrosity)
Instead of weakening ballot integrity, however, Republicans should strengthen the Constitution’s election clause by codifying things like Voter ID and state legislature prerogative.
Again, not likely to get much traction in the Senate though watching Amy Klobuchar filibuster it would be worth the effort.
The real agenda of the new House majority must be oversight and investigation — day in, day out. Oversight Committee Chair James Comer seems off to a good start and McCarthy’s new friendship with Jim Jordan has put the latter in charge of the Judiciary Committee
Using the subpoena power just the way the January 6th Committee did, investigations into Biden Family, Inc.’s selling of access, a Justice Department and social media coup over a false “dossier,” and impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the Biden administration’s unprecedented abdication at the border should be more than enough to keep the television lights on just the way Adam Schiff did.
Subcommittees are already planned in the new Rules for the 118th to investigate China and the (gain of function?) origins of the COVID pandemic, along with the dystopian response of public health authorities, including Dr. Anthony Fauci.
But why stop there? The Ways and Means Committee should keep its investigation open on the IRS backlog of political tax audits by immediately releasing to the public President Biden’s returns, including his rather inexplicable sources of millions in S-Corp. income.
Critics will target individual Republican members for revenge, but to paraphrase Doc Holiday, “it’s not revenge he’s after, it’s a reckoning.”
Former Congressman Jason Lewis is the author of Party Animal, The Truth About President Trump, Power Politics and the Partisan Press. He also writes at jasonlewis.substack.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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