What would a GOP-controlled Congress mean?
Well, for one thing, better relations with Israel because the Republican Congress will not allow the president to repeatedly attack our strongest ally in the Middle East. Expect renewed Iran sanctions to land on the president’s desk as well.
I spoke with Kentucky senator and GOP leader Mitch McConnell about what was ahead if he won re-election and the GOP won a majority in both houses. The audio and transcript of our interview is here. McConnell is taking nothing for granted and I and Governor Jindal and Carly Fiorina will be in Kentucky tonight to help rally support for the GOP Leader, but his skill as leader of the GOP in the minority will really shine once he has 51-plus votes behind him.
The New York Times surveyed some of the speculations about what follows a GOP takeover of the Congress here. The Times’ John Guida picked up on my earlier piece on the subject for the Washington Examiner from late September, one in which I urge the GOP Congressional leadership to move quickly –indeed with unprecedented speed– to propose a budget and pass a defense appropriations bill. Right behind those urgently needed bills should follow a big immigration bill that begins with –and turns on– construction of a long, strong, double-sided fence along at least half of the 1,000 mile U.S.-Mexican border. Regularization of most of the illegal aliens in the country can follow, and even be a part of the bill, but must be contingent upon completion of the fence.
“Action this day!” is how Churchill went about his time at 10 Downing and the GOP could use a lot of that purposefulness. If they wi, caucus and elect leaders, drift through a lame duck and then return for a business-as-usual session, it will go very badly for them and many of the House members will find themselves with primary opponents declared for ’16 before Q2 arrives.
If they get a majority, the GOP has to use it, and right away. After eight years in the legislative wilderness, the pent-up demand for purposefulness on the part of a conservative Congress is enormous. “Business-as-usual” dooms the 2016 effort before it begins. The expected House GOP Leader, Kevin McCarthy, seems to understand the need for urgent action, though the idea of an energy bill as a priority isn’t anything I have heard from grassroots activists, though repeal of the medical device tax is. The specifics will get hammered out, but January shouldn’t be a time for self-congratulatory speeches but for a budget and the first of many appropriations bills replete with the riders that will roll back President Obama’s regulatory behemoth.
“Action this day!” Watch and see if the GOP gets this crucial attitude and acts accordingly.