Defunding Bill Provides Opportunity for GOP to Unite

Phil Jensen


moneyHouse Republicans left dozens of important policy riders and measures that defund various parts of the Obama agenda on the table during the failed omnibus negotiation, but that doesn’t mean that their work should go for naught.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) is bringing together many of the most important economic riders into a single bill, The Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016, to keep these issues at the top of the agenda rather than losing the value of the hard work done last year to rein in President Obama’s pen-and-phone approach to governance.

Among the dozens of policy riders and defunds incorporated into the act are a number of measures that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory onslaught against energy producers, mining and agriculture. Other measures would stop the Labor Department and National Labor Relations Board from becoming virtual proxies for Big Labor through various actions that attack the franchise and independent consultant business models, putting union reps into the middle of OSHA inspections at non-union companies, and ambush union elections.

Rick Kriebel 2016


The genius of the legislation is that a vast majority of the proposals contained within it have already been vetted through regular order processes, and passed by the House, giving the legislation an aura of consensus that every Republican should be able to rally round.

Buck argues that “By doing our work, House Republicans have laid out a counterbalance to President Obama’s wholesale assault on free markets and individual liberties.”

While, at some level, it may feel like conservatives are being asked to play Charlie Brown, trusting Lucy Van Pelt to not pull the football away again, the Buck effort has the benefit of keeping Obama policies that threaten our nation’s economic security at the forefront in one neat package for the House to send over to the Senate.The reality is that Senate Democrats are unlikely to allow the comprehensive legislation to become law, but once it is passed by the House, every individual item should be inserted into must-pass appropriations bills and other legislation demanded by the president. By virtue of the House passing the Buck bill, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will have the impetus to drive a set of appropriations bills to the president’s desk that include Republican priorities rather than the Democratic Christmas tree that the omnibus became.

What’s more, like former Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) “You Cut” program, the Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016 provides a bounty of issues for editorialists, talk-show hosts and bloggers to focus upon with ready-made constituencies and facts to support them.

What’s more, the legislation has the potential to bridge the gap between the left wing of the House Republican Conference and the conservatives by showcasing areas of agreement. An example is the inclusion of the Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)-sponsored de-fund of Obama’s attempt to destroy local zoning through a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulation. The de-fund passed with an overwhelming number of House Republican votes and enjoys not only the support of the conservative Gosar, but also Rep. Pete King of New York, leader of the GOP’s moderate wing.

The HUD Obamazoning de-fund is just one of dozens examples of proposals contained within Buck’s legislation that bring Republicans together, rather than tearing them apart. And this binding together around limited government principles and rebuilding Congress’s Article I responsibilities is one of the great opportunities for 2016.

This article is printed with the permission of the author(s). Opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of American Clarion or Dakota Voice LLC.

Woodrow Wilcox


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Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor. Americans for Limited Government is dedicated to putting the principles of limited government into action. They work with local groups across the nation to promote freedom, limited government, and the principles of the U.S. Constitution. Their goal is to harness the power of American citizens and grassroots groups in order to put the people back in charge in states across the country.
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