What Can Republicans Get Done?


shutterstock_100254761The folks at Reason have a list of ten suggested reforms the 114th should pass. Though the it has few surprises — most of Reason’s hobby-horses make an appearance — the list struck me as (comparatively) modest and (almost) realistic. It focuses more on reforming existing institutions and programs in ways that at least conceivably could get past senate Democrats and President Obama’s veto pen, than on sweeping changes that would be awesome, but would never happen.

Definitely read the whole thing — each is given just a few paragraphs’ outline, including a brief summary of recent efforts to pass similar legislation — but the list is:

  1. Restore “fast track” trade promotion authority;
  2. End blanket NSA surveillance;
  3. Curtail civil asset forfeiture;
  4. Kill the renewable fuels mandate;
  5. Lower the drinking age;
  6. Audit the Fed;
  7. Fix government worker pensions;
  8. Implement sentencing reform;
  9. Let federal education funds follow kids; and
  10. Respect marijuana federalism

Obviously, some of these are highly unlikely to see the light of day —  lowering the federal drinking age, for instance, strikes me as sensible-but-impossible and many of the others run into the time-honored problem of asking the Federal government to willing curb itself — but others might stand a fighting chance. Fast-track promotion gives the president more power (though, ironically, the power to do less); asset forfeiture has something approaching bi-partisan support; the specific pension reforms Reason recommends shouldn’t get too much opposition; and some kind of federal accommodation on marijuana seems almost inevitable.