What Do You Want from a Republican Congress? — Troy Senik

 

A piece of heartening news, from USA Today:

A nationwide USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll shows the strongest tilt to Republican candidates at this point in a midterm year in at least two decades, including before partisan “waves” in 1994 and 2010 that swept the GOP into power. Though Election Day is six months away — a lifetime in politics — at the moment, Democrats are saddled by angst over the economy, skepticism about the health care law and tepid approval of the president.

And while I’d need to see more polling to be convinced that this development is for real, there’s even this shocker: a poll in Oregon, a state that’s been on virtually no one’s radar, shows the Republican senate candidate within four points.

Now, let’s apply the standard disclaimer: a lot of things can happen between now and Election Day. The tide could go out. But the fundamentals of this cycle seem to strongly favor the GOP.

From which observation, a question: if Republicans are in control of both houses of Congress come January, what do you want to see from them over the following two years?

We all probably have our laundry lists of things we’d like to see a Republican congress do with a Republican president, but what could the GOP do in the much more constrained atmosphere of the Obama Administration’s final days that would make you feel they were earning their keep?

There are 38 comments.

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  1. user_6236 Member
    user_6236
    @JimChase

    Pass a coherent budget, for starters.

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Give me my incandescent lightbulbs back. It’s a small thing, but highly symbolic.

    Also, I want to see every single federal bureaucracy shaken up, arrests made where necessary, agencies shuttered, people fired, thrown in prison, and Eric Holder placed in the exact same cell that once held Nakoula Nakoula — for the poetry of it.

    • #2
  3. user_75648 Thatcher
    user_75648
    @JohnHendrix

    Leaving aside the question of what they should do, I hope they devise something akin to The Contract with America that Newt devised in 1994.  If they do not do this and only run on a sense of opposition to the Left then, as soon as they attempt to accomplish anything after they get elected to power, the Dems will object that the Republican’s “do not have a mandate” to do anything in particular. 

    No, that will not stop all of the arguments, but running a list of goals will stop that argument.

    • #3
  4. Salamandyr Inactive
    Salamandyr
    @Salamandyr

    I would like, rather I demand, a rollback of the regulatory state.  I demand an end to the War on Drugs.  I demand an end to pious moralizing from cretinous hypocrites as they make it more difficult to live our lives, all to mildly inconvenience some criminals whose activities hurt our society less than the laws that have been put in place to stop them.

    Why yes, I did try to buy allergy medicine this week-end.  How did you know?

    • #4
  5. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    Lay the groundwork.

    If you want to reform the healthcare reform, use the next two years to explain why. Make the hearings not about repeal (though repeal  would be wonderful), but instead, focus on what the debate should have been about before ObamaCare – i.e., really addressing the healthcare finance problem, instead of trying to pass a bill and claim victory. 

    I’d have no problem with calling current military and diplomatic analysts to hearings and simply ask them: what, in your professional judgment, is really going on? What do we need to address? And most importantly, why? Show that you’re a serious party, and you’re trying to do what’s right … so your first step is to honestly figure out what’s right. 

    Now’s the time for listening to America, instead of telling America what you think.

    Besides, with Obama’s veto, you’re not going to pass any major legislation anyway. 2016 is going to be clouded by the presidential campaign. Take 2015 to do some serious (even if boring) groundwork. Accept it and make the best use of the time.

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I want the rule of law back.  I want the government within its Constitutional limits.  I want the border secured.  (Wow!  Wasn’t that a nice visit to fantasy land.)

    • #6
  7. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I second the lightbulb, I would also like phosphates in my dishwasher detergent (clean dishes make me racist or something…..)

    Also I would like a budget that isn’t insane.  Paul Ryan (and his plans) is only slightly less insane than Obama.

    A statutory floor on interest rates from the fed at about 3%

    • #7
  8. Blayne Lantrie Inactive
    Blayne Lantrie
    @BlayneLantrie

    some one beat me to it – incandescent lightbulb – incandescent lightbulb – incandescent lightbulb. Signed by none other then Bush II.

    • #8
  9. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    Jim Chase:

    Pass a coherent budget, for starters.

     Obama will veto a coherent budget.

    • #9
  10. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    Force Obama to make a ton of difficult decisions.  Vote to repeal numerous parts of the healthcare law one at a time, such as the insurance company bailouts, and the mandates.

    Force Obama to veto and keep those unpopular parts of the law, or sign their overturn, which will ultimately doom the program over the long haul.

    • #10
  11. Pilli Inactive
    Pilli
    @Pilli

    I agree w/ John Hendrix above.  A Contract with specifics.  Obama will veto them but the other Dems will have to think twice if they don’t support the proposals.

    I agree w/ KC, too.  2016 may get us a Republican president.  Congress needs to be ready to roll on cleaning up the cover-ups and putting people in jail.   (IRS Scandal, Fast-and-Furious, etc.)  The also need to cut back and close many departments.

    Finally, a Republican Congress needs to treat the Dems they EXACT same way the Dems treated them.  Why?  Because the Dems are counting on the Reps to take the high road and NOT punch back.  The Dems need a lesson.  A strong, painful lesson.

    • #11
  12. Yeah...ok. Inactive
    Yeah...ok.
    @Yeahok

    Issue a blanket pardon all thought crimes.

    Publish the order of who gets paid first (e.g. SS payments) and what gets shut down first (e.g. BLM, Nat Park service barricade staff) when we next reach our debt limit. So we tell the public if Grandma will or will not receive her SS check when the the brave Republicans decline to raise the debt ceiling.

    • #12
  13. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Rollback.

    Shut down the confirmation of all nominees that exhibit any hint of Leftism, that require confirmation (use that 60 threshold against them – make them howl for that. Payback). 

    Reform of NSA, begin work on Entitlement reform and means-tested programs. Begin to reign in the bureaucratic agencies. Tax Reform – decimate the IRS and the fascists that lord over us.

    Move the ‘GD’ed’ ball!

    • #13
  14. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    I’d divide an agenda into three categories:

    1. Substantive — (things that can be done without the presidency) — re-establish the budget process and begin serious oversight of IRS, DOJ, NSA, et al.

    2. Political tactics — (force Democrats to join or oppose on popular, but small, issues that highlight a freedom agenda) — repeal the lightbulb ban, lower the drinking age

    3. Political strategy — (lay the groundwork for 2016 even though Obama will veto) — pass bills (probably mostly partisan) to reduce spending, reform Medicare & Social Security, repeal & replace Obamacare

    • #14
  15. BuckeyeSam Inactive
    BuckeyeSam
    @BuckeyeSam

    Solid border enforcement; solid internal enforcement. Deport all illegal-immigrants who have committed crimes. Deport all illegal immigrants with gang insignia or gang affiliation. Deport all illegal immigrants who have fabricated an identity, stolen an identity, or defrauded any government entity to obtain an entitlement. Deport all visa overstayers–remember 9/11. In all of those cases, they’ve truly not been “hiding in the shadows” and they’re dishonest as h*ll. Why would be want them as neighbors.

    And let’s end birthright citizenship based solely on birth within the US.

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I want to see them do the right thing without calculating how it will help or hurt them politically.

    • #16
  17. user_6236 Member
    user_6236
    @JimChase

    Frank Soto:

    Jim Chase:

    Pass a coherent budget, for starters.

    Obama will veto a coherent budget.

    Of course he will.  But passing a budget is a fundamental responsibility of Congress that the Democrat caretakers (particularly the Senate) have virtually ignored for 6 years.  The R’s still need to prove they can “govern”, and a little fiscal responsibility might help their credibility.

    Not that I’m holding my breath, of course, that we’ll see real fiscal responsibility. 

    • #17
  18. user_989419 Inactive
    user_989419
    @ProbableCause

    Bring the repeal of Obamacare to the floor in both houses, and call on Democrats who are up for re-election in two years to vote with Republicans to provide the two-thirds majority necessary to overcome a Presidential veto.

    If that fails, do it again in 2017.

    If that fails, do it again in 2018.  In October.

    • #18
  19. Karen Inactive
    Karen
    @Karen

    Oversight: it’s their job, and they should be doing it. If we take back Congress, little birds will start singing all over the place. Shine a light in every corner. It won’t have much effect on Obama’s administration, but it can make things tougher for the 2016 Dem candidates.  See that Gov. Martin O’Malley, Hillary, Sen. Warren and Biden aren’t presidential contenders. Other than that, it’s hard to say, because it depends on how much of a majority we get. We need a big one to have much leverage.

    • #19
  20. user_928618 Inactive
    user_928618
    @JimLion

    They should repeal Obamacare and slap it on his desk, with the threat of impeachment if he doesn’t sign it, then they should look for as many ways as possible to push their legislative powers out to the states, and in so doing eviscerate the Federal bureaucracy. This push should come with scorched-earth firewalls to prevent any subsequent Congress from reclaiming or reasserting what rightfully and Constitutionally belongs with the states in the first place, basically the entire social welfare agenda that’s been Federally mismanaged for so long. States have to live with balanced budgets. Their second week in session, after they’ve done all this, they can look at ways to means-test Social Security with a gradual phase-in and voluntary privatization.

    • #20
  21. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    John Hendrix:

    …. I hope they devise something akin to The Contract with America that Newt devised in 1994. If they do not do this and only run on a sense of opposition to the Left then…..

     I agree that they should run on something, but I do not want them to recreate something like the substantive failure of the Contract With America. The Contract had one big thing that it promised and delivered, and that (welfare reform) was nationalizing a revolution that Bush and Thompson had already set up in Wisconsin and Clinton then endorsed. Most of the rest was politically satisfying, but substantively worthless; they held votes on all sorts of things, but passed little good (expanded federal capital punishment was nice, but not super big picture stuff).
    If we can pass the Ryan Plan (long term deficit reduction), we’ll have made a vastly bigger difference. 2014 elects the ceiling for the 2016 Senate elections (when we won’t win seats), so it would allow us to run in 2016 on labor law (particularly if Walker gets the nomination). Other than that, support the military, be aggressive on justices, and continue to cut short-medium term domestic spending.

    • #21
  22. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    The Senate should continue operating under the rules Harry Reid rammed through, no filibusters for Dems.

    The House and Senate use the time between election day and when the new office-holders are sworn in to get organized to hit the ground running instead of slow-walking everything and taking until April or June 2015 to get going with legislation.

    The House replace John Boehner with someone who acts like he/she wants to be the speaker and get an agenda advanced.

    • #22
  23. Butters Inactive
    Butters
    @CommodoreBTC

    Send Obama a clean bill outlawing bailouts for insurance companies.

    The bailouts are what allow the insurers to operate at a loss and not raise premiums.

    If Obama signs it, premiums go up.

    If he vetoes it, he’s an enabler of corporate welfare.

    • #23
  24. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    My bar is set so low for Republicans that I would just appreciate Them to stop “reaching across the aisle.”

    BuckeyeSam: Deport all illegal-immigrants who have committed crimes

     “Illegal-immigrants” have committed crimes by definition.

    • #24
  25. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Butters:

    Send Obama a clean bill outlawing bailouts for insurance companies.

    The bailouts are what allow the insurers to operate at a loss and not raise premiums.

    While I try to keep my expectations modest, the GOP is infamous for their ability to under-deliver,  here though I think you do not go far enough. Let us keep it simple and straightforward though. No bailouts period. 

    I am not just speaking of the members of the National Association of Health Underwriters but no bailouts for anyone. No matter what happens in the next couple of years no more AIG, GM, BofA style boondoggles. 

    If the GOP can accomplish this simple thing; this very, very simple thing then perhaps the they will have managed something that can be differentiated from abject failure.

    • #25
  26. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    Son of Spengler:

    I’d divide an agenda into three categories:

    1. Substantive — (things that can be done without the presidency) — re-establish the budget process and begin serious oversight of IRS, DOJ, NSA, et al.

    2. Political tactics — (force Democrats to join or oppose on popular, but small, issues that highlight a freedom agenda) — repeal the lightbulb ban, lower the drinking age

    3. Political strategy — (lay the groundwork for 2016 even though Obama will veto) — pass bills (probably mostly partisan) to reduce spending, reform Medicare & Social Security, repeal & replace Obamacare

     This is about it.  Under 2, it’s time we started acting on more wedge issues which might get those who wouldn’t normally vote for us to listen to our proposals (see the internecine Democrat charter school fight in NYC).

    • #26
  27. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    1. Repeal Obamacare.  And replace with rational marketplace-based reforms.
    2. Repeal Obamacare.
    3. Pass a budget that begins the process of dramatically limiting the scope of government and reducing spending.
    4. De-fang the EPA.
    5. Begin the process of tax reform (reduce marginal rates and make sure everyone has “skin in the game”).
    6. Pass a federal law banning abortions after twenty weeks (I would, of course, like something stronger, but this would mirror several states and force the S. Ct. to confront more and more evidence inconsistent with Roe v. Wade:  it’s impossible for the S. Ct. to make anything worse).
    7. Did I mention that they should repeal Obamacare?

    I know Obama will veto much of this.  But continue to make sure Congressional Democrats are on record, over and over again.

    • #27
  28. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Butters:

    Send Obama a clean bill outlawing bailouts for insurance companies.

    The bailouts are what allow the insurers to operate at a loss and not raise premiums.

    If Obama signs it, premiums go up.

    If he vetoes it, he’s an enabler of corporate welfare.

     I like this one.

    • #28
  29. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    tabula rasa:

    4. De-fang the EPA.

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been loving the RNC’s work lately on Red State Democratic fake friends of oil.  I’m pretty sure that we’ll have the ground well prepared for a fight over the EPA’s ability to prevent Keystone. A broadly drafted pro-Keystone bill would let us do a lot to defang the EPA in all sorts of ways. I think I’d prefer to have specific popular things pushed like that than to attack the EPA general, as the latter urge is very easy to demonize indeed.
    I’m in favor of taking easy to demonize positions when they’re essential to important policies (so I favor the Ryan Plan, for instance), but if there’s a popular way to achieve the same end, it’s often best to do things the easy way.

    • #29
  30. Yeah...ok. Inactive
    Yeah...ok.
    @Yeahok

    Stad:

    I want to see them do the right thing without calculating how it will help or hurt them politically.

     I take it you’re a little new around here. What is life like on your planet? Do public servants really serve the public? They must be robots, right?

    Truth is, I’ve posted very similar hopes many times. Bummer.

    • #30

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