In true D.C. dysfunctional fashion, liberal plans to pigeon-hole conservatives into taking tough votes before the November elections are falling apart. The Democrat-controlled House and Senate have been back in Washington, D.C. for almost three weeks and have nothing to show for it. Promises of bills that will fund COVID (even though President Biden just announced the pandemic is over), keep the government afloat (can you say bloated continuing funding resolution?), shovel even more money to the war in Ukraine, and codify same-sex marriage (the ironically named Respect for Marriage Act) have yet to move. With only ten days left until October recess, Democrats are scrambling to wrap up any of these issues.
All Americans are facing record food and gas prices. Inflation hit a forty-year high in August at a rate of 8.3% and the stock market is historically low. When asked about this on the news show 60 Minutes, President Biden was dismissive, saying the month-to-month rate was “up just an inch, hardly at all.” He refused to answer a question about how he could work better and faster. It’s not surprising that the Biden administration is ignoring this inflation crisis they have created.
Meanwhile, the House and Senate Democrats think they can help their chances of re-election by forcing Republicans to take tough votes. Recently, the House passed the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404), a same-sex marriage bill that repeals the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Not only did DOMA recognize marriage as between one man and one woman, but it also bolstered states’ rights to create their own marriage policies. When the wrongfully decided Obergefell v. Hodges ruling came down, it squashed states’ rights on this issue. However, the Court did recognize the rights of individuals and religious institutions to hold contrary views without fear of punishment. The liberals have made it their mission to strip religious freedom away from Americans, and therefore made sure that H.R. 8404 was devoid of any religious liberty protections.
As the Senate considered the bill, Democrats had to find a way to win the support of at least ten Republicans to clear the sixty-vote threshold required. Some Republicans were open to the bill while others had major concerns about the impact on religious liberty. Then, Democrats threatened to attach it to a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the government for the remainder of this fiscal year. All the political pressure from proponents and negative feedback from constituents has soured Republican support, and the supporters now know they will not get the ten votes they need before the mid-term elections. The bill is completely off the table until after the elections, when supporters believe they can push it through because Republicans will no longer fear the anger of the grassroots once they are re-elected.
The House and Senate are now solely focused on passing a CR to avoid a government shutdown before the September 30th deadline. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and thirteen Senators have sent a letter to their colleagues asking for a clean CR- one that does not have any additional spending or policy related items. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) have different plans. In exchange for Sen. Manchin’s support for the Inflation Reduction Act, Sen. Schumer made a deal to allow Sen. Manchin to attach energy permitting reforms to the CR. He hopes to streamline federal approval for certain fossil fuel and renewable energy projects.
Senate Republicans are not completely opposed to this idea, but, like some Democrats, would prefer that it be voted on separately because the trade-off for the permitting will be bloated spending. Over 70 House Progressives have voiced their concerns to the language because it would weaken their climate change agenda. This in-fighting has significantly slowed down the CR’s advancement.
The expiration date of the Continuing Resolution is a major issue for conservatives. If the CR is written to expire during the lame duck session, Democrats will still have control of the Congress and therefore the agenda. If the GOP retakes the House and/or the Senate, everything the liberal Democrats were unable to pass over the last two years (i.e. election reform, federal funding of abortion, critical race theory and transgenderism in schools, the Green New Deal, and open border policies) will be aggressively pushed during their last gasp of control. Republicans should push for an expiration date that is either before the elections or after the new Congress assembles in January 2023.
Eagle Forum will score against the CR if the expiration date is during the lame duck and will oppose any language that funds or allows abortion in federal facilities. Sign up for Eagle Forum alerts to receive the latest information so that you can contact your Representatives and Senators when the language of the CR is released.