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Beware Of A Rogue President And A Lame Duck Congress

Those liberty-minded voters who thought that America was saved by the results of the 2014 midterm election were roughly disabused of that notion by President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional attempt to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens just a few days after the wipeout of his liberal allies was announced.
Obama and his Senate allies, abetted by Big Government Republicans, can still do a great deal of damage, so the headline “Beware of a rogue President and a lame duck Congress” that ran above a short letter to the editor by Mr. Gary Allen* of Chesterfield County, Virginia posted in The Progress-Index of Petersburg, Virginia – pretty well sums-up what we think conservatives should be paying attention to as the 113th Congress staggers toward its menacing conclusion.
While thwarting Obama’s illegal amnesty is, and must be, the top priority of conservatives there are still a number of other important issues in which we conservatives must engage between now and the beginning of the new Congress.
Omnibus Spending Bill or Short Term Continuing Resolution?

Conservatives will have a very quick and decisive preview of whether or not the national leaders of the Republican Party are planning on fighting Obama on amnesty when the Republican approach to spending is unveiled.
If an “omnibus” appropriation consisting of all 12 spending bills comes forth from the House Appropriations Committee Chaired by Big Government Republican Hal Rogers without a provision defunding amnesty conservatives can, and should, read that as a sign that the House GOP does not intend to fight Obama to the bitter end on amnesty. Rogers’ excuses for why he can’t deal with amnesty in the Lame Duck have ranged from the ridiculous, the Committee has put a lot of work into the bill as is, to the flat out lie that the House can’t “defund” Obama’s effort because fees from the illegal scheme, not general fund revenue, would fund the process.
Other Appropriations and Spending

This is the 18th straight year that Congress has failed to pass all 12 appropriations bills by the end of the fiscal year – Bill Clinton was President and Newt Gingrich was Speaker the last time Congress handled spending in regular order.
There are strong indications that powerful big spending interests, such as Alaska’s nominal Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, want to load the year-end bill with all kinds of additional spending that would never pass scrutiny in the light of the regular budget process. Big spending Republicans like Murkowski will be aided and abetted by the just defeated Democrats who are anxious to build monuments to themselves or conduct one last raid on the taxpayers before joining some special interest lobbying group to come back to Capitol Hill to do the same thing from outside of Congress.
Tax Extenders

Last year Congress allowed a package of tax breaks to expire. In an ill-starred attempt at bipartisanship the breaks were not renewed at the end of 2013, and an effort to forge a deal last week ran into a veto threat from President Obama.
While there are some pro-economic growth tax breaks in the package, which covers everything from research and development to the ability of people to write off state sales taxes on their federal tax returns there are plenty of special interest favors under consideration – most egregiously “green energy” tax breaks which have rewarded Democratic Party donors with billions for very little return in either energy efficiency or cost. The cost of the plan Obama threatened to veto is estimated at some $450 billion over ten years, which would just be added to the federal deficit. You can bet the price won’t go down as more special interests attempt to get a piece of the action.
Defense Policy

Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats have held back on bringing a defense authorization bill to the Senate floor, and now, according to Jamie Dupree of The Atlanta Constitution, it’s not clear if the measure will be acted on this year. The House passed its version of the bill in June.
In an environment where national security policy is set through the budget process and the main advocates in the process are military-industrial complex lobbyists selling the next multi-billion dollar weapons system It’s likely that the key players in both parties have already tentatively worked out a final version of the bill in hopes of speeding it to approval in the next two weeks. In 2013, Congress waited until December 21 to give the plan final approval and as the rise of the Islamic State proved, defense spending remains almost completely divorced from demonstrable improvements in national security.
New Use of Military Force Authorization

One of the issues that some liberty-minded Senators, such as Rand Paul, would like to have debated on the defense bill is a specific authorization for the use of military force against the Islamic State.
The questions about the Obama’s policy toward Islamic extremists, and the competence of its execution, such a debate would raise are probably the primary reasons that a national defense bill did not see the light of day in the Senate before the elections.
Now that Harry Reid’s effort to tamp down debate which might cause trouble for Senate Democrats running for reelection has been rendered irrelevant, there are still other issues that could prove troublesome to the White House; Obama’s failed effort to stop Iran’s nuclear program and Republican calls for tighter sanctions against Iran top the list, along with demands for more spending on big weapons systems that are of dubious value in the fight against radical Islam.
Senate Approval of Obama’s Judges and Executive Appointees

Democratic Leader Harry Reid made it clear he plans to ram through as many Obama nominees as possible, particularly for federal judgeships, and so far he has been true to his word. Unless Republicans mount a strong last ditch defense dozens of liberal judicial nominees will obtain lifetime appointments to the federal bench where they will continue to advance Obama’s radical leftwing agenda long after he has left the White House.

The only way Republicans can stop Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions on immigration is through a budget showdown next week.
The current Continuing Resolution runs out on December 11, and Republicans must use the power of the purse to force Obama back within the strict constitutional limits of his authority. Whether or not Republicans are prepared to do this remains to be seen, but conservatives must not let up the pressure on the Capitol Hill Republicans – particularly the rank and file house Republicans who have so far avoided taking a strong position on amnesty. Bombarding the House leadership with phone calls and emails is of limited value – to be effective we conservatives must bombard our individual members with phone calls and emails and demand that THEY bombard the leadership with demands to stop Obama’s unconstitutional attempt to grant amnesty and Social Security benefits to millions of illegal aliens.
The time to stop Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty is NOW. Congress is only scheduled to be in session this week and a few days of the week after. If amnesty is not defunded Obama will have nearly a month with a free hand to send green cards and Social Security cards to millions of illegal aliens.
* As originally posted online 12/01/2014 in The Progress-Index of Petersburg, Virginia
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Lame Duck Session

Whatever treacherous action not taken during the lame duck session will be undertaken, or augmented, by the Republican Congress. Neither party looks out for their constituents (and their constituents are too stupid to recognize that they don't)!