Congress

As goes Pennsylvania's congressional delegation, so goes Congress

Salena Zito, Washington Examiner

For the first time in a very long time, Pennsylvania will have four open contests in the state, four seats held by Republicans who have vacated their seats either for retirement (Charlie Dent), scandal (Tim Murphy), presidential appointment (Tom Marino), or seeking higher office (Lou Barletta). All of this makes for the perfect window into what might be going on in the rest of the country.

EPA, do us all a favor and don't pick favorites

Editors, Washington Examiner

That doesn't mean Trump should rig the rules to help coal, as early hints suggest it may. Any new climate rules should be as neutral as possible. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt put it well: "Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers." Trump and Pruitt, we hope, understand the difference between minimizing harm and helping industries. A wise policy would meet the statutory requirements and so defang inevitable environmentalist lawsuits, while refusing to favor coal, gas, nuclear, or renewables.

Conservative stalwart Mark Green running for Congress in Tennessee

David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner

Green considered running for Senate against fellow Republican Sen. Bob Corker. But Green pivoted to the House and the suburban Nashville seat being vacated by Rep. Marsha Blackburn after the popular conservative signaled her intent to succeed Corker. Blackburn announced her Senate bid on Thursday. Green was immediately endorsed by Club for Growth.

California Joins The Confederate States Of America

In the Leftist fever to remove any symbol associated with the Confederate side of the American Civil War it is beyond comical that yesterday, California's liberal Governor Jerry Brown joined the Confederacy in attempting to nullify laws passed by Congress.

New deadline as standoff deepens between House, FBI over Trump dossier

Byron York, Washington Examiner

The prospect of the FBI adopting a partisan opposition research project raised "questions about the FBI's independence from politics," said Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, who is also investigating the dossier. In the end, it's always possible that the GOP's concerns are exaggerated, that there is little to the story. That's what the House committee wants to find out -- without, so far, information from the FBI that could shed light on the matter.

Trump Dumps the Do-Nothing Congress

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

If democracy, as Freedom House contends, is in global retreat, one reason may be that, in our new age, legislatures, split into hostile blocs checkmating one another, cannot act with the dispatch impatient peoples now demand of their rulers. In the days of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, Congress was a rival to even strong presidents. Those days are long gone.

The Only Problem Facing President Trump’s Tax Reform Ideas

We are all for the President’s tax reform principles, but we hope he understands that, like Obamacare repeal, the problem getting it passed isn’t the Democrats, it’s the establishment Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

GOP Coalition Has Gone to Battle Stations—Against Itself

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

What seems apparent is that the historic opportunity the party had in January, to forge a coalition of conservatives and populists who might find common ground on immigration, trade, border security, spending, culture and foreign policy, is slipping away. And the battle for the soul and future of the GOP, thought to have been suspended until 2020, is on once again.

There are no decent plans in Congress, just lies, intraparty squabbling

Charles Hurt, Washington Times

The intraparty squabbling within the GOP has reached levels we have not seen from either party in at least a half-century. How it is Mr. Trump’s fault that the professional, experienced politicians in Congress failed to repeal Obamacare is beyond any rational thinking. It is almost as if Republicans in Congress — along with Democrats — are determined to find a Republican somewhere to blame for it.

The key to passing tax reform: Keep it simple, stupid

Stephen Moore, The Hill

Republicans, don’t try to rewrite the 80,000-page tax code. Cut taxes now and then build political momentum for a tax reform and simplification agenda in 2018 and 2019. Three years after Reagan cut taxes in 1981, the economy boomed to 4 percent growth and the Gipper won 49 states in the next election. That’s a pretty smart model to follow.

Shutdown risk grows as both parties balk on debt ceiling hike

Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner

Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are poised to stand in the way of lifting the nation's borrowing limit next month, increasing the chances of real problems for House and Senate leaders as they try to increase the debt ceiling by an end-of-September deadline. House and Senate conservatives have long insisted that debt ceiling increases be accompanied by spending reforms, and that hasn't changed this year, even under a Republican president who is insisting on a "clean" debt ceiling increase.

Your Mission During August Recess: Start The Debt Ceiling Battle

All presidents want a clean debt ceiling increase. The only way automatic debt ceiling increases will stop is if grassroots conservatives turn out and demand that spending be cut, as President Trump’s budget proposed, and that Congress implement debt reforms now.

Obamacare: Time for Trump to Make Congress Share Our Pain

David Catron, The American Spectator

Republicans would bring new meaning to the term, “stupid party,” if they pass any legislation appropriating money for cost reduction payments or any other insurer bail-out. Meanwhile, Trump should immediately strip Congress of its illegal Obamacare exemption. He should allow every member of the House and Senate, as well as their small armies of aides, to experience the joy of Obamacare. That would focus their attention wonderfully.

A Peek Behind the Curtain at Our Incompetent Congress

Roger Kimball, PJ Media

I opined back in 2008 that there was  a "burgeoning democratic anger preparing to expel the smirking, incompetent toadies who orchestrated and presided over this catastrophe." In a way, I suppose that the election of Donald Trump was a fulfillment of that prediction.  But though a majority of representatives and senators now have Rs next to their names, the incompetent toady factor remains high, very high.

War Powers and the Constitution in Our Body Politic

Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review

As a practical matter, the Constitution may not be able to prevent an overly adventurous president from enmeshing us in conflicts against our interests. But congressional war powers can still have much to say about the legitimacy of the use of force, and therefore about its extent and duration. Moreover, where the use of force is clearly in America’s vital interests, congressional war powers — used to issue a powerful endorsement of a clear, necessary mission — can help us achieve something that has eluded us since 1945: victory.

Trump’s Tweets Awaken The Living Dead

When Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Lindsey Graham are the voices and faces of the Republican Party it reminds us of scenes from our favorite zombie movies.

Will the Senate Goldilocks Caucus Save Obamacare?

David Catron, The American Spectator

If Ted Cruz's plan passes muster under the rules of reconciliation, he could emerge as the most sensible member of the Goldilocks Caucus, and conservatives like Senators Lee and Johnson would be hard put to undercut the Texas Senator and retain their credibility. Assuming the conservatives fall in line with Cruz, only “moderates” like Capito, Heller, Moran, and Portman can kill BCRA. Either way, the fate of Obamacare and your health care future will be decided by the Goldilocks Caucus.

No Obamacare Repeal – No August Recess For Congress

The Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044, we urge CHQ readers to call their Representative and Senators; tell them to skip the August Recess to repeal and replace Obamacare, pass the Trump budget and put a pro-growth tax reform package on President Trump’s desk.