I feel vindicated. Earlier this week, I created a scenario for the creation of a new political party. Today, I saw the article below that appears to mirror those first steps I formulated on this post.
House and Senate conservatives have formed a caucus all their own, separate and apart from moderate Republicans and their own GOP leaders. Their meetings, held in person and over the phone, have helped the relatively small band of lawmakers maintain a united front and outsize influence in a budget debate that led to a government shutdown.
At the meetings, they have shared information and ideas, developed strategy and discussed how to frame the fight over Obamacare as part of a larger budget debate. They met in person most recently last Monday evening, according to Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa — just hours before the government shut down.
The private pow-wows have enabled conservative lawmakers to coalesce around some of the hallmark proposals of the government-funding fight, including the notion that they could fund government programs one at a time. — The Washington Examiner.
On Monday, I speculated that Congressional conservatives from both houses would form a caucus in defiance of the leadership of both parties. It appears now that my speculation was accurate.
The new conservative coalition of Senators and Representatives have clout, as Harry Reid found out this week. Reid was disappointed that Boehner reneged on a secret deal he had made with Reid. Reid thought Boehner would support funding Obamacare in the CR in return for some nebulous promises from Reid. But, when the time came for Boehner to betray his party and House members, he didn’t. The pressure from House and Senate conservatives was too great.
By STEVE CONTORNO | OCTOBER 3, 2013 AT 1:35 PM
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday accused House Speaker John Boehner of reneging on a deal reached in September to fund government and said the Republican leader has put his political future ahead of the country.
Reid said that when he and Boehner met in early September, the Republican leader wanted a clean continuing resolution to fund government at $988 billion, or sequestration levels. The Nevada Democrat said Boehner then backed away from that agreement after conservatives in the GOP caucus flipped.
“We didn’t like it. But we negotiated, that was our compromise. The exact bill that he now refuses to let the House vote on, that was our negotiation,” Reid said. “I didn’t twist his arm. He twisted mine a little bit to get that number. Now he refuses to let his own party vote because he’s afraid to stand up to something he originally agreed to.”
On Wednesday, Reid offered Boehner an out by promising to negotiate a host of Republican objectives, like tax reform and the health care law, in a bicameral budget committee after the House passed a measure to fund government with no strings attached. Boehner immediately turned it down as a disingenuous proposal.
“I thought we had something he couldn’t refuse,” Reid said Thursday.
Reid’s Don Corlene tactics failed. Boo. Hoo.
The IRS has been targeting selected conservatives for some time. Evangelist Franklin Graham, and conservative Christine O’Donnell are two from that list. Now, another conservative has been audited by the IRS, suddenly, after his famous speech before Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, Dr. Ben Carson.
The list of conservatives targeted by the Internal Revenue Service for audits, tax-exempt reviews or tax privacy breaches keeps growing, raising fresh questions in Washington about whether a scandal the Obama administration has blamed on bureaucratic incompetence and coincidence may in fact involve something more nefarious.
The latest revelation came Thursday from Dr. Carson, the renowned neurosurgeon who told The Washington Times that he was targeted for an audit just months after he gave a speech in front of President Obama that challenged America’s leadership. The agency requested to review his real estate holdings and then conducted a full audit.
“I guess it could be a coincidence, but I never had been audited before and never really had any encounters with the IRS,” Dr. Carson said in an interview. “But it certainly would make one suspicious because we know now the IRS has been used for political purposes and therefore actions like this come under suspicion.”
The article continues at the website.
For weeks, since the last debt limit fight, Obama has threatened to take unilateral action to raise the debt limit citing Section 4 of the 14th Amendment as justification. He’s threatening to take action again to remove Congressional power of the purse.
Wouldn’t it be better to save the nation from default by invoking the Fourteenth Amendment, than to stand by and do nothing?
Back in 2011, I found myself writing (and writing and writing and writing and writing) about Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment. Afterwards, it seemed like a bizarre interlude: The brief crisis about the debt ceiling surely would not repeat itself in our lifetimes. After all, President Obama was handily reelected, the Democrats held onto the Senate, and the Republicans must surely have learned their lesson.
Or not so much.
Regardless of how the current shutdown crisis ends, it seems there will be a second debt-ceiling crisis two weeks from now. And the questions are flying again: Is the debt-ceiling statute unconstitutional? Can Obama “invoke” Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment and assert authority to breach the debt ceiling to pay “the public debt of the United States, authorized by law”? Or can one party, decisively defeated in a nationwide election and controlling only the lower house of the legislature, threaten the full faith and credit of the United states — and the health of the world economy — in pursuit of its short-term partisan advantage?
The world has heard enough from me on this subject, but three nuanced analyses are worth looking at. The first, by Henry J. Aaron of the Brookings Institution, notes that the debt-ceiling crisis threatens not just the president’s constitutional duty to make payments on the public debt but also the accompanying requirement that he spend money lawfully appropriated by Congress, either as part of a yearly budget or as part of statutes authorizing “entitlement” payments like Medicare or veterans’ benefits.
Failing to do any of these things would be a default on the president’s duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The president may not be able to obey all three sources of law; if so, Aaron argues, he should make the payments and ignore the debt ceiling. “The debt ceiling is the fiscal equivalent of the human appendix — a law with no discoverable purpose,” he writes. “If Congress leaves the debt ceiling at a level inconsistent with duly enacted spending and tax laws, the president has no choice but to ignore it.”
Aaron’s argument echoes the elegant analysis last fall by law professors Neil Buchanan of George Washington University and Michael Dorf of Cornell. These two prominent scholars concluded that paying appropriated monies and interest on the debt represents the “least unconstitutional” option open to a president when Congress refuses to approve a debt-ceiling increase.
The writer above is a liberal, as you probably noticed. Like all liberals, he sees the Constitution as an impediment—unless it can be twisted to their advantage. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment gives the President NO POWER to unilaterally raise the debt, nor spend federal funds not authorized by Congress, specifically by the House of Representatives. To do so would eliminate the Balance of Powers in the Constitution; the balance deliberately designed to constrain the excesses of government.
If Obama and the congressional dems follow this path, it can only be corrected by counter-balancing force. I would much prefer we don’t go there!