Republicans in Washington finally seem to be getting the hint: Americans don't trust big government and are therefore weary of big government solutions. We can see this momentum shifting in Washington in a few different ways.
Yesterday I told you that Republicans in the House were meeting to discuss the future of immigration reform. They decided that a giant, comprehensive approach to immigration reform was not the answer. A statement from the GOP leadership reads:
“Today House Republicans affirmed that rather than take up the flawed legislation rushed through the Senate, House committees will continue their work on a step-by-step, common-sense approach to fixing what has long been a broken system. The American people want our border secured, our laws enforced, and the problems in our immigration system fixed to strengthen our economy. But they don’t trust a Democratic-controlled Washington, and they’re alarmed by the president’s ongoing insistence on enacting a single, massive, Obamacare-like bill rather than pursuing a step-by-step, common-sense approach to actually fix the problem. The president has also demonstrated he is willing to unilaterally delay or ignore significant portions of laws he himself has signed, raising concerns among Americans that this administration cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border and enforce laws as part of a single, massive bill like the one passed by the Senate.”
I would agree that this is a good first step for Republicans. Immigration reform is not an easy topic and therefore requires intricate solutions – Solutions that will take time to get right. Furthermore, on immigration, Republican Rep. Dave Camp points out that the Senate Gang of Eight legislation may be unconstitutional because it raises revenues, yet the bill originated in the Senate. Then again, it no longer surprises me that the Constitution is seen as nothing more as a speed bump in Washington, rather than a document limiting their power and jurisdiction.
On ObamaCare, we had the letter from House GOP leadership demanding that Obama delay the individual mandate as well, in light of his delaying of the employer mandate. The House will likely vote on that delay soon. But Republicans in the Senate took things a step further. All 45 Republicans in the Senate have signed a letter calling for the implementation of ObamaCare to be delayed … permanently. The letter reads in part:
"We write to express concern that in your recent decision to delay implementation of the employer mandate, you have unilaterally acted and failed to work with Congress on such a significant decision. Further, while your action finally acknowledges some of the many burdens this law will place on job creators, we believe the rest of this law should be permanently delayed for everyone in order to avoid significant economic harm to American families.”
Some Republicans like rising star Senator Mike Lee have gone as far as to say that ObamaCare should be defunded or it is time to shut down the government. He says, “If congressional Democrats want to oppose appropriations bills without additional Obamacare funding, shut down the government, and side with the president and Big Business against the American people, then it's their choice.”
Then we have Republicans pushing to cut the IRS' budget by 24% ($3 billion) in light of the targeting abuse. The Republicans also want to prohibit the IRS from implementing the individual mandate associated with ObamaCare. Remember that the IRS has hired (or will be hiring) over 16,000 agents just to deal with ObamaCare! So now we have given the IRS more resources and more power at a time when they've demonstrated that they are capable of abusing that power and targeting people based on their political beliefs. This is just dumb, and I hope the GOP holds the line on this.