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Did We Just Say Paul Ryan Is Right?

Yesterday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan issued a statement that was not the usual self-serving cant that emanates from the Speaker’s press office – it concisely and truthfully defined one of the fundamental political problems facing the country.

It is what we have called “government by train wreck” and what the Capitol Hill establishment calls government Nuclear option Trump tweetby continuing resolution.

Speaker Ryan claims Republicans do not want to use continuing resolutions to fund the government and said that’s why the House has made it a priority for spending bills to go through regular order.

However, the thing about regular order is, as the Speaker pointed out, is that the Senate has to do its job. For the Senate to be able to do its job, it means that Senate Democrats cannot filibuster the spending bills that the House sends its way.

Ryan then offered up a list of major spending bills that the House has passed that are currently sitting in the Senate—all because Senate Democrats threaten to filibuster them, making passage impossible:

July 27: The House passed a defense package, or the ‘Security Minibus,’ to address key national security priorities, including rebuilding our military and taking care of our veterans.

September 14: The House passed all 12 appropriations bills on time as part of the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act. That day, Speaker Ryan said, “we need the Senate to work with us to get these bills on the president’s desk.”

December 21: The House passed an additional disaster relief funding measure.

January 18: The House passed a continuing resolution to fund the government, which Senate Democrats initially blocked, and then agreed to pass on January 22.

Ryan then went on to call-out the hypocrisy of the House Democratic leaders who were complaining about government by continuing resolution.

“Let us try to use every one of those days to reach agreement on funding the government so we don’t have another CR, which all of us believe is bad fiscal policy and substantive policy,” House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said. “And in this resolution, we will extend the harmful effects of another CR to both defense and nondefense agencies for another 17 days. That means that Congress will be more than four whole months into the fiscal year without a budget agreement. This is dangerous, Mr. Speaker, both to our military and to our civilian agencies, each of which require budget certainty.”

And Ryan noted that Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi quoted the wise words of Defense Secretary Mattis for why continuing resolutions are not ideal.

“In August, Defense Secretary Mattis was asked what would be the effect of another stopgap short-term spending bill on the military. You all know he replied, ‘It just creates unpredictability.’  He said, ‘It makes us rigid.  We cannot deal with new and revealing threats.  We know our enemies are not standing still, so it’s as unwise as it can be.’ I’ll submit other statements to the record from the Navy Secretary [Richard Spencer], et cetera.”

The problem for Speaker Ryan is that all too often in the past Republican leaders have used the government by train wreck tactic to ram through legislation that most Republicans, especially conservatives, would not otherwise vote for.

We have only to think back to 2014 and the hated “CRomnibus,” to appreciate that Ryan is right, but he and his predecessor John Boehner often embraced the tactic with enthusiasm.

As Georgetown adjunct professor and Forbes columnist Stan Collender said back in 2014, “We - and I mean all of us, Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, men and women, dogs and cats – should be outraged,” at government by train wreck.

The question is, what are Speaker Ryan and his Senate counterpart Mitch McConnell going to do about it? One thing that comes obviously to mind is to embrace President Trump’s suggestion that the Senate adopted the “nuclear option” and do away with the 60-vote rule on spending bills, thus stripping the Democrats of their power to bring the country to a halt whenever they want to pander to their Leftwing base.

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With the 60 vote rule the

With the 60 vote rule the Democrats are in charge. If you need evidence of this just look at the bills that have passed and gone to the president, which by the way is very few for the Senate's operation in the past 7-8 years.

Nuclear option

I'm all for the Senate changing the rules ridding themselves of not just trying to get to 60 votes, but also for relieving themselves of the dirty baggage their forced to carry. Dump the Democrats. We don't need them. We don't want them. They're trouble, and will block and resist everything if Congress doesn't pull out their weapon of mass destruction: The nuclear option!

Getting rid of the 60 vote rule.

The very least that could be done, and it could be done immediately, is to require those who would filibuster to actually do so. That challenge would be a far greater impediment to a filibuster happening than is allowing the threat of a filibuster to suffice.