Congress just approved the largest budget in the history of our country. It was the Republicans's job to stop it, but instead, they enabled it.
January 19, 2017
Filed under Opinion
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First off, congratulations on being able to maintain a majority in the house and senate (given the circumstances). I’ve come to you today because there’s a phenomena that I wish to see continue in congress, and that is the willingness to contradict the President-Elect. Lindsey Graham and John McCain didn’t skip a beat on the issue of Russian intervention in the U.S. election. Rand Paul wasted no time coming out against several of Trump’s cabinet picks, announcing his opposition for a huge Republican stimulus package, and voicing concern about the execution of the repealing of the Affordable Care Act. Speaker Ryan also made it clear that he didn’t support any increase in tariffs in contrast to Trump’s trade policies which were a focal point of his campaign’s economic policy and garnered wide support. All of the aforementioned people are Republicans that aren’t afraid to stand on principle rather than maintain a good relationship with the new party leader.
Trump is a big government guy in a party that likes to represent an image of small government. While a lot of the Neoconservatives are happy to enable Trump’s behavior, those who offer an ideological contrast in the party shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for what they believe in. They shouldn’t be subjugated to the will of someone who contradicts the party’s core beliefs of free enterprise and self-determination. The never-Trump crowd may have given in, but that doesn’t mean that a Republican ideological alternative shouldn’t exist to counter some of Trump’s more illiberal policies.
Trump is poised to be a big spender. Infrastructure spending, health care spending, social security spending, military spending; these are all big ticket items. Trump didn’t necessarily put much emphasis on balancing the budget during his campaign, and I don’t see him doing so any time soon. For years, fiscally responsible Republicans have been frustrated by a congress that compromises too much at the detriment of the taxpayer. The willingness to unnecessarily appropriate money to the military in exchange for increased and continued funding towards welfare spending earned Speaker Boehner the label of RINO, or Republican in Name Only.
Senator Rand Paul (KY-R) protests the massive budget:
What will the first order of business be for the new Republican majority? To pass a budget that never balances. pic.twitter.com/DEBquJvK7P
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 4, 2017
Ted Cruz will go down as one of the first to sell out. His support for the appointment of Jeff Sessions to the post of Attorney General is a grand display of partisan theatrics. Cruz is famous for his understanding of the constitution and gained favor from the Libertarian wing of the Republican party for his supposed commitment to the 10th amendment. The appointment of Sessions is the single greatest threat the 10th amendment faces today.
I will put forward a budget that freezes spending and balances the budget over a 5 year period. pic.twitter.com/nWRxeefFFz
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 4, 2017
Trump and Carly Fiorina made it a huge point in the second primary debate to voice their opposition to decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana. Cruz made it clear that he would leave it up to the states, but Sessions is a Trump appointee. Sessions would enforce the draconian federal laws making Marijuana illegal without taking into consideration the various referendums that states have undergone to vote on the legalization of the drug. This is in direct contradiction to Cruz’s self-avowed constitutionalist principles, yet he compromises them for political gain.
Rand Paul was the only senate Republican to vote against this year’s massive budget. Lindsey Graham and McCain forced Trump’s hand against the intelligence community. Congressman Thomas Massie criticized Trump’s presumptuous criticisms of John Lewis. These are all Republicans with some form of integrity. It does not stem from a common ideology, but it atleast presents proof that some Republicans will remain committed to principle over party.
When the 2018 midterm elections come around, those who stood their ground even during a Republican administration will have passed the true conservative litmus test. Those who refused to ride the wave of populism and unfettered government interventionism. Those who adhered to the constitution and upheld their oath to defend it.
Fabian Gonzalez-Cortes, Columnist for the Oakton Outlook