This is an opportunity for Republicans. A bold legislative program can set the terms of the debate and dictate the terrain that 2016 will be fought on. The Senate investigating President Barack Obama’s administration for their perfidy in the IRS scandal and others is a good thing. Stopping the President’s packing of the judiciary is a good thing. But if that’s all Republicans in the Senate do the next two years, then it will be a waste of time that makes it easier for Democrats to win the White House in two years.
It’s time for action and this is the program I would set forward.
1. Immigration reform that’s border security first and NOT border security only. All my suggestions are here. The reasons for it are detailed in the piece but to summarize, immigration reform will be a centerpiece of 2016 and it’s time for Republicans to have a clear and concise program and stake out their position on it, forcing the Democrats and Hillary Clinton to take a position as well.
2. Real tax reform (and no, I don’t mean fiddling at the margins on things like the corporate tax rate). The tax code is a millstone around the neck of America, and now it’s been used as a political weapon by President Obama’s administration. A move to junk the tax code and replace it with a flat tax or fair tax is a populist move that will resonate with people no matter their age, race or gender. Let’s force the Democrats and President Obama to defend this tax code and the Internal Revenue Service, a particularly poisonous political position to take.
3. Dealing with United Nations treaties and killing them forever. In particular, the Law of the Sea Treaty, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Small Arms treaty. Bring them up and vote them down!
4. Expanding oil drilling and fracking all over the country. Unleashing the energy resources this country is critical to tackling the deficit and debt of this country, making good cheaper for consumers and producers, and changing the way we deal with the Middle East. The focus for voters can be that cheaper energy means cheaper goods and cheaper gas for them. The President and the Democrats are still wedded to their green energy agenda. They don’t understand that energy is a weapon that can be used for good and can strengthen us at home and abroad. It’s time to force them to go on the record with that position. And it’s a position that is broadly popular with the American people.
Of course, it goes without saying that the Republicans need to use the budget and the appropriations process to fight the necessary fights with the President.
Some of these programs are ambitious and maybe pie-in-the-sky, given the nature of leadership we have in this Republican Congress; but these are issues where there is broad popular support for our positions.
So it’s time to move on them and show we are for instead of what we are against.