Ryan and Santorum Disagree on Meaning of Democrats’ VA Election Sweep

Nearly every observer has an interpretation of yesterday’s electoral sweep of Virginia by the Democratic Party, the first significant, positive performance the party has displayed since the election of Donald Trump.

President Trump quickly tossed gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie beneath a bus after his loss, which unexpectedly was by 9 points, despite the fact that Trump had tweeted and robo-called in support of Gillespie just before the election. He likes winners, you see, and those who “embrace” him.

 

But Gillespie was not a winner, despite not only Trump’s endorsement, but the Trumpian atmosphere of his campaign, which included strong criticism of his opponent Ralph Northam via ads on the issues of illegal immigration and sanctuary cities, as well as echoes of the president on Confederate monuments and kneeling NFL players.

He wasn’t the only Republican loser on Tuesday; it was a sweep.

Democrats also won at least 14 seats in the state’s House of Delegates and could gain control of the chamber for the first time since 2000, depending on the outcomes of four races that qualify for recount, The Washington Post reported.

Additionally, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio won reelection and Chris Christie, formerly among the most unpopular governors in the country, certainly contributed to his Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno’s loss in her bid to replace him — she was defeated Democrat

So what happened in Virginia? Is this a rejection of Trump, dissatisfaction with the performance of the Republican Congress, or both? (The New Yorker triumphantly finds Trumpism in decline. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Rick Santorum came down on opposite each other in their interpretations of the results.

Ryan spoke at a tax reform event held by The Washington Examiner. Responding to the election results in the context of the GOP’s new tax bill, he said the following:

“It doesn’t change my reading of the current moment. It just emphasizes my reading of the current moment which is we have a promise to keep…. We’ve got to get on with keeping our promise, and one of the chief promises we made when we ran for office … in 2016 was that we would do tax reform and tax cuts for families, for people, and so we’ve got to get on with that.”

He went on to say, that “If anything, this just puts more pressure on making sure we follow through…That’s what I take out of it. I adore Ed Gillespie. I feel bad that he lost, but I think it simply means we’ve got to deliver.”

The Republican party is even less popular than Trump himself, as is Congress as a whole. Despite majorities in both houses, the GOP has accomplished almost nothing of its legislative agenda. Most victories for Trump are the fleeting sort executive orders bring. That makes Ryan’s (and Trump’s) interpretation plausible.

Santorum had a different interpretation. Appearing on CNN on a panel analyzing the results, the former Pennsylvania senator blamed Trump’s “Twitter bombs” and “personal attacks”, arguing that “it is hurting him” and the Republican Party. (“Everyone is telling him that.”)  He went on to say that the voters who were turned off by Trump in Virginia, not because they were opposed to his agenda, but because they were opposed to the way he demeans others in public. That doesn’t include his treatment of the media, which Santorum believes goes over very well.

While Santorum acknowledged the lack of legislative accomplishment, he alluded to promises made by Trump in that regard, implying that a lack of leadership on the part of the president was at least in part responsible for Republicans having nothing to show for their nearly ten months of control of the federal government. In other words, the buck stops in the Oval Office.

Ironically, prior to Trump’s election, Santorum sought to appeal to the same working class voters Trump did, adopting unusually protectionist economic positions for a Republican. He validated Trump’s popularity in debates as well. By contrast, Ryan kept his distance from Trump for some time, and even easily fought off a supposedly Trump-like primary challenger, before ultimately embracing the inevitability of the Donald. Now the two appear to have flipped in where their locate the blame and aim their criticisms, and thus how they see Tuesday’s results.

Perhaps the answer simply is that all politics is local. That at least appears to have been the case in New York and New Jersey. Everyone wants to read the tea leaves in Virginia though, hoping to gain some insight into the future of the Trump presidency and Trumpism. Personally, I think it’s doubtful that this one case study can tell us much. What do you think?

For Dreamers – DACA is a Pipe Dream

Much has been written about President Trump revoking the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Order put into action by the Obama administration.

An equal amount, or more, has been written about the meeting in the Oval Office with Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. After conflicting reports of what was agreed upon during the conversation, and after a few days have past, it appears the President agreed to only continue conversations.

A careful study of the stakeholders involved seems to show any sort of DACA-Dreamers success to be remote at best. There appear to be simply too many obstacles for compromise to take place.

Left alone, President Trump, and both the Democrat and Republican leadership could probably come to a deal. While there are differences those are manageable.

Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Schumer would like to see immediate amnesty for the Dreamers, but would settle for a path to citizenship. They are content to leave out the vast majority of illegal aliens in this DACA bill. They are happy to throw money at “border security” as long as specific funding for the border wall isn’t included.

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Paul Ryan would ideally like an overall more comprehensive immigration bill, but will settle for Dreamers. They can’t agree to immediate amnesty, but are more than willing to work on language about a path to permanent status if not citizenship. Given the fact they don’t want to fund the border wall either, they are more than happy to fund increased undefined “border security” and call that a victory.

The President first and foremost wants this off his desk, with something that can be considered a win. He’s seems fairly flexible, but is quite cognizant that his base will be watching this very closely. If Sen. McConnell and Rep. Ryan give him cover on a bill, and if that bill doesn’t have immediate amnesty, he’ll undoubtably sign it. He has already indicated border wall funding doesn’t have to be in the bill.

But…there are three other stakeholders in this quagmire, and it is those three who will ultimately doom passage.

Progressive socialist Democrats do not want Democratic Party leadership negotiating with the President at all. From their perspective, “no” isn’t good enough, “hell no” might not be either. (Townhall)

Despite reports indicating President Trump’s positions on amnesty and DACA are shifting to the left, many in the progressive movement recoil that any discussions are occurring at all. Campaign Director Justin Krebs at the far-left group MoveOn.org maintains that “nothing Trump has done should change the fact that he’s pursuing a toxic agenda” and that “Democratic leaders should not forget that.” Murshed Zaheed, of CREDO  Action, went further claiming that the California and New York representatives were often “out of touch with the zeitgeist of the progressive movement.” Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia cautioned Democrats dealing with Trump. “Let’s not fool ourselves, he is this person we know, and I just think there must be both political and moral limitations with how far we’re willing to cooperate with that.”

But, that’s not their only reason, and it is this reason around which their 2018 campaign theme revolves. (Townhall)

Progressives are furious at  Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. In the far left’s minds, the two are “normalizing” President Trump as they continue to negotiate immigration with the Republican president.

Think about that for a moment, having learned nothing from Hillary Clinton, the entire Democratic campaign theme is “We’re not him!!”. Which is why they can’t abide leadership allowing the Oval Office to claim victory for any deal, no matter how weak the claim.

The California liberal combined with the various hispanic organizations and hispanic Democrats are adamant that they will not sit still for any half-measures. They don’t want a stand-alone DACA bill at all. Rather, they are insistent having a place at the table, with their demands being given priority.  (Politico)

Democratic leaders are facing fresh trouble with their left flank after cutting their latest deal with President Donald Trump to protect Dreamers. Hispanic lawmakers were blindsided by the Wednesday night announcement from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that they’d support legislation to help the nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants in exchange for an unspecified boost in border security. And immigration activists were frustrated to see Democrats claim victory only days after calling for a stand-alone vote on a path to citizenship for Dreamers. The concerns are particularly acute in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, where some members worry Democratic leaders — despite getting Trump to drop demands for a border wall in the talks — have already given away too much in the nascent negotiations and say their members are being shut out of key talks.

What do they want? First of all a clean bill without border security (Politico)

“This is bulls**t,” said Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas). “If what we’re going to do is address DACA, we ought to do that on its own and we ought to address border security on its own.” Some members want to draw up a list of 10 or so border security provisions the caucus won’t accept as part of any bipartisan deal.

For these open border devotees, only a guaranteed path to citizenship will suffice. (Politico)

Immigration groups want to see more than just a fix for the nearly 700,000 individuals affected by DACA; they want a path to citizenship for more than 1 million that would be provided under the DREAM Act.

Some of these activist are so energized, they disrupted an event last night where Rep. Nancy Pelosi was speaking (Wash Post)

Protesters angrily confronted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday — and she tried in vain to quiet them — about her emerging agreement with President Trump to provide legal protections to young undocumented immigrants. The protesters demanded “a clean bill” — meaning that the Dream Act would get an up-or-down vote on its own without any language regarding border security attached. They “demanded” that Pelosi show a commitment to protecting “all 11 million” undocumented immigrants believed to be in the country. “We are not a bargaining chip!” the protesters chanted, according to local reporters. “All of us or none of us,”

These enraged protestors have evidently turned on Democratic leadership, and consider them to be part of the problem (Wash Post)

“We demand accountability. Democrats are not the resistance of Trump. We are!” they shouted.

Then there are the conservative border security hawks who consider President Trump’s campaign promise to build a border wall and to stridently enforce illegal immigration to be sacrosanct. (Townhall)

For President Trump’s part, his own base is just as angry. Many are claiming the president is betraying his promises. Many Trump voters are worried that border wall, the cornerstone of his campaign, will not happen. “The base will leave him. They can’t support him anymore,” said Rep. Steven King if a wall is not completed.

In particular Rep. Steve King and Ann Coulter was loudly vocal about their displeasure with President Trump negotiating with the Democrats. (Townhall)

“The base will leave him. They can’t support him anymore. I am talking about my constituents in Iowa that will say you need to be behind trump. I am. I support his entire agenda. I support the agenda Trump had when he went into office and I support almost every piece of the agenda, except the amnesty piece being dangled, and that’s so destructive to a first world country,” Rep. Steve King, an early supporter of Trump on the campaign trail, said during an interview with CNN Thursday morning. “If you do not have the rule of law or respect for that law, the people writing the immigration laws are the people breaking them. We had a protest here, DREAMers coming up demanding we give them amnesty. What right do law breakers have to make demands from the citizens of the United States of America. If anything, they should be pleading for it and not demanding.” “This was a straight up promise throughout his campaign,” King continued. “It looks to me like he’s preparing to keep Hillary Clinton’s campaign promise rather than his own.”

Ann Coulter was even more harsh with her condemnation, tweeting: (Townhall)

“At this point who DOESN”T want Trump impeached?”, and “If we’re not getting a wall, I’d prefer President Pence.”

These border security hawks will be very upset if a DACA deal includes any path to citizenship. They consider that de facto amnesty. They also do not want legislation without funding for a border wall. These conservatives have been burned far too often by “future funding” promises by the Democrats, and are going to insist on border funding first. Also, any discussion about “chain migration” is not on the table. Lastly, they will not ever allow those to morph into a general amnesty bill. That would be a craven Rubio-esque betrayal in their mind.

So, there you have it. The problem for those who would be willing to compromise in order to make a deal happen is they do not have the numbers to get the deal done. Conservatives in the House would revolt if Paul Ryan brought up a general amnesty deal, or agreed to DACA legislation without border security and wall funding.

Likewise on the left, there are far too many liberals who don’t want to see any deal with the White House, who along with the open borders advocates make up a sizable voting bloc opposing Schumer and Pelosi.

It’s hard to see how DACA moves forward, whether its this year, or first quarter 2018. There are too many players with disparate views, and while there might be other obstacles, these alone appear to make Dreamer legislation a pipe dream.

 

GOP Leadership Must Go

The majority party in both the Senate and House of Representatives is a hot mess. Both sides of Congress are fractured by competing factions, and as a result have only one singular notable achievement this year. Admittedly, the Justice Gorsuch vote was a victory, but it was months ago, and its sell-by date has long passed.

There are many who want to place the primary blame for this stunning failure on the President, mentioning his ill-advised tweets, his inexperience, his lack of involvement in legislation, and his polls numbers. Then there are some who do believe Congress has leadership issues, but can’t resist casting some blame on the President and the White House in general.

To be sure, any intellectually honest person will admit some of the President’s tweets have had the capacity to confuse, irritate, embarrass, and yes anger. The White House hasn’t handled every legislative interaction competently either. It has been evident they are learning on the job, just as every new White House has had to do. The President has also unwisely picked fights at times, and has demeaned potential allies. Attracting with honey doesn’t seem to be an option, however vinegar seems to be in abundant supply.

In a well functioning government where one party has control of the Executive Branch as well as Congress, in theory legislation shouldn’t be a heavy lift. The President as leader of the party, sets the agenda for what he wants to see accomplished. He is responsible for selling that agenda to the American pubic as well. Congress’s responsibility is to take that agenda and turn it into cogent passable legislation.

For a myriad of reasons, this isn’t happening, Congress can’t seem to get anything done at all. Rather they appear to relish crisis reactive mode, content to avoid difficult votes at all cost.

By now, it is apparent GOP leadership doesn’t respect the President, don’t want him in the Oval Office, and resent his “drain the swamp” populist movement. As a result, they have vacillated, obfuscated and obstructed in every way possible. It is even possible, these GOP leaders would be perfectly happy being the 2020 majority party with a Democrat in the White House. Some still wish Hillary had won.

GOP leadership in the Senate and House aren’t true conservatives. They tend to be globalist, federal statist, open borders, and social moderates, wedded inexorably to big business. They don’t seem to be capable of bringing strong conservative legislation to the floor, and absolutely are incompetent when it comes to whipping votes.

As proof, for seven years the Republican Party in virtually every district has been screaming Obamacare Repeal. For seven years, the Republican Party has piously promised that repeal. Indeed, the House passed numerous repeal bills when Obama was in office, but now we know that was solely because they could rest easy knowing he would veto them.

The GOP campaign promise was; if elected into both the White House and majority, they would not only repeal Obamacare, but also pass strong immigration and border control legislation , and bring about trade and tax reform as well. They are 0-4 currently.

Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and their lieutenants do not care about these issues, nor do they want these types of tough votes forced upon them. You can’t come to any other conclusion once you realize John McCain R-AZ still has his chairmanships, or see Susan Collins in plum committee appointments. On the Obamacare Skinny Repeal vote, Majority Leader McConnell allowed outright betrayal of three members of his party with no repercussions whatsoever. The only conclusion you can come to, is his dedication to Obamacare repeal was tepid at best. He didn’t seem to care one way or the other.

Paul Ryan was very vociferous opposing Obama’s 2012 DACA bill, loudly proclaiming it to be unconstitutional. However; once President Trump occupied the Oval Office, he publicly asked the President to continue the unconstitutional activity on a month by month basis indefinitely while Congress contemplated passing a DACA bill. His reasoning? Foreign influx of workers helps to keep American wages depressed.

These facts appear to be painfully obvious by now:

  1. GOP leadership doesn’t have a conservative small government-states rights vision. Rather, akin to the Democrats, they have a federal government-statist belief, simply believing their policies are better than those of the Democrats.
  2. GOP leadership are not committed deficit hawks. National debt over $20 trillion doesn’t bother them in the least. Continued borrowing is of no bother to them whatsoever.
  3. GOP leadership don’t have a nationalist populist view. By and large they are globalist, and as a result millions upon millions of American dollars are spent overseas instead of on decrepit urban schools, national infrastructure, southern border control or tax relief.
  4. GOP leadership is not committed to the conservative social agenda. If they were, those Republicans who continue to advocate for Planned Parenthood funding would have been silenced long ago. They are content with a liberal Trans policy as long as they don’t have to take a vote on it. They have no commitment to religious freedom, and have never taken a tough vote protecting religious institutions.
  5. GOP leadership are either squish on border control or are 100% Open Borders advocates. If they weren’t, the border would have been secured by now, E-Verify would have been implemented, and big business wouldn’t have free reign to employ illegal aliens. They are 100% aligned with Wall Street and business owners, and have consistently lied about border control and immigration during each and every one of their campaigns.
  6. GOP leadership plainly do not want the swamp drained. They like status quo in our nation’s capital. They do not want Rex Tillerson to reform the State Department. If they did, they wouldn’t oppose his reforms, and insist he spend all of his budget when he maintains he doesn’t need it. It is a safe bet Betsy DeVos makes them squirm daily, and DHS/ICE has probably become an anathema and embarrassment to them. There isn’t enough space to mention the EPA, Energy, or HUD.
  7. GOP leadership is amenable to NeoCon nation-building and war as long as they get a piece of it. If this weren’t so, they would have cut funding to Afghanistan long ago. Instead, President Trump inherited a global mess with potential conflict in far too many places.
  8. GOP leadership is not unhappy with the UN. They’ve paid the UN outrageous amounts year in and year out and have allowed them to embarrass us at every turn. Likewise, they were cowards with Obama and the Iran deal. They squawked loudly but in the end, did zilch.
  9. GOP leadership has no problems with the MSM. They are quite content to go on MSNBC and CNN and gripe about the President or conservatives, but for the most part avoid Fox like the plague. They ache to receive the blessings and laudatory applause given to liberals by the MSM and seem unwilling to perform any difficult act if it would result in angering liberal media.

What the GOP leadership is committed to, is being re-elected. That and bringing in bucket loads of campaign cash. Toward that end, they resist any vote which will potentially endanger their standing in DC.

These squish Republican leaders have no risk of losing their offices. Their longevity inoculates them against defeat. Defeating them via the primary election route is a losing proposition.

The only answer is to put the onus on the average conservative House and Senate member. These members are not always so secure, and might be more than happy to see new leadership if they knew the Republican voting public stood ready to support them. Our focus and support should be with those who could bring about leadership change, and those who would support such change.

Rather than demanding campaign promises which will surely be broken, the Republican voter might be wise to find candidates with the spine to bring about change in Congress. That appears to be the only answer to this hot incompetent mess.

President Trump can endeavor to drain the swamp in DC, but it is on us to drain the People’s House.

Dreamers and RINOs: Unconstitutional Hypocrisy

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.  

Article I Section I United States Constitution 

Early into President Obama’s first term, he famously said this about immigration and amnesty:

“I know some wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how democracy works.”

By 2012, his true governing philosophy found it’s way into the bright light of democracy: (Wash Examiner)

DACA’s biggest problem was it being the result of Obama’s preference to legislate by executive order rather than through Congress, as the Constitution calls for.

This was the result of our Chief Executive acting on his socialist philosophy. Contrary to the U.S. Constitution, he believes power truly resides within the Executive Branch, and the Congressional Branch is reduced to puppet status. Logically, if the puppet revolts and won’t play ball, then the Chief Executive has the prerogative to go it alone and create law. (LA Times)

Saying he was tired of waiting for Republicans to fix a broken immigration system, President Obama announced in November that he would use his executive authority to protect millions of immigrants from the threat of being deported.

In 2013, Rep. Steve King R-IA expressed Republican opinion and opposition:

“The point here is…the President does not have the authority to waive immigration law, nor does he have the authority to create it out of thin air, and he’s done both with these Morton memos in this respect.”

Even to this day, Rep. Paul Ryan R-IA agrees: (Christian News)

“President Obama did not have the legislative authority to do what he did. You can’t, as an executive, write law out of thin air.”

It is widely speculated the President will revoke Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) this coming Tuesday: (The Hill)

President Trump will announce his decision on whether to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Tuesday, the White House announced.
The Republican Congress is wildly cheering this Presidential commitment to keeping his campaign promise, right? Not so much. (Washington Examiner)

” To fix the DACA problem properly, the ideal solution is through Congress.”  As Ryan said when asked if Trump should undo DACA himself, “I actually don’t think he should do that. I believe that this is something Congress has to fix.”

Right on cue, here’s Nancy (Breitbart)

“As you know, the President is likely to make an announcement early next week,” Pelosi said in a message to House Speaker Paul Ryan, who announced Friday, that he wants Trump to preserve the DACA, despite its illegality. “That is why I am writing to ask you to meet with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other House Democratic leaders as soon as we return next week to discuss a comprehensive legislative solution for our country’s DREAMers,”

The Dreamer’s Act was unconstitutional in 2013, even according to the Federal Judge (LA Times)

Late Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas issued an order siding with those states and blocking the plan for now. “The DHS secretary is not just rewriting the laws,” Hanen wrote in a 123-page opinion. “He is creating them from scratch.”

Try to wrap your head around this. A Democratic President signs a 2012 Executive Order that is so egregious a US District Judge finds it unconstitutional, all the while Republicans condemn it. Fast forward to 2017:  A Republican President, in keeping with his campaign promise, wants to revoke said Executive Order, and Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi stand together in opposition?

Amazingly enough, Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi also explain why they want Congress to jump into the middle of this: (Breitbart)

According to Pelosi, the DACA illegals are “patriotic, courageous men and women who are American in every way …[ their repatriation] would be disastrous for communities, our economy, and our nation.” Ryan has also praised the young illegals and has repeatedly endorsed “any willing worker” proposals, which are designed to raise the inflow of foreign workers whenever employers are forced to pay higher wages. (Emphasis added)

Gotta give RINOs credit. They are always loyal to their masters. If it’s not the military complex, it’s the Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Ryan has just said he wants to keep the flow of illegal immigrants in the US, so that wages for American citizens can continue to be depressed. This is truly worth repeating:

“Raise the influx of foreign workers whenever employers are forced to pay higher wages.”

You gotta wonder how that plays in Wisconsin with the dairy farm workers, in Pennsylvania with steel workers, in Detroit with…you get the picture.

Ryan and the RINOs are to conservative values as CNN is to news. Fake.

They don’t care for us, it is high time we stopped caring for them.

Anthem Pulling Out Of Obamacare Market In Wisconsin And Indiana

Obamacare continues its slow and steady collapse across the country.

Health insurance giant Anthem announced its plan to almost completely pull out of Affordable Care Act markets in Indiana and Wisconsin in 2018. The announcement comes after Anthem already announced it will be leaving Ohio’s Obamacare market the same year.

In a statement, Anthem blamed a volatile market as reason for its departure:

A stable insurance market is dependent on products that create value for consumers through the broad spreading of risk and a known set of conditions upon which rates can be developed. Today, planning and pricing for ACA-compliant health plans has become increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance, including cost sharing reduction subsidies and the restoration of taxes on fully insured coverage.

A five-year ban on returning to the individual Obamacare exchange is imposed on any insurer that completely pulls out of a state’s Obamacare market. Because of this, Anthem will continue to provide just one single plan outside of the federally-run marketplace in a single county in Wisconsin. They will also sell one plan outside of the Obamacare exchange in just five Indiana counties.

Athem currently provides plans through Obamacare in 14 states. The insurance company will be departing from three (Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin) of those states next year and could announce more withdrawals before the year ends.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has pushed hard for a GOP alternative to Obamacare. He led efforts to pass the American Health Care Act through the House – that legislation now sits in the Senate chamber. Ryan, who represents Wisconsin’s 1st District, made an official statement on Anthem’s retreat from the Badger State:

Because of Obamacare, many Wisconsinites will now have to scramble to find new plans and new doctors. This law has failed our state, where average individual market premiums have skyrocketed by 93 percent since 2013. Obamacare is clearly collapsing, and we have to step in before more families get hurt. We are on a rescue mission to replace this collapsing law with a better system so that people have lower costs, more choices, and real peace of mind. We need to get this done.

Senate leaders plan to vote on the American Health Care Act before the end of June. Safely assuming no Democrats vote for the bill, GOP senators can only afford to lose two votes from their side to have any hope of it passing the upper chamber. The vote will come down to the wire.

With or without a Republican alternative – it’s clear Obamacare is collapsing all on its own.

Tax Reform Is Coming

Speaker Paul Ryan laid out his tax reform agenda at the National Association of Manufacturer’s summit. Unlike many of his Republican colleagues who are feeling more complacent with a temporary fix, the Speaker made it clear he wants a real, permanent solution to the burdensome tax policy that plagues our country’s growth:

“These reforms — these tax cuts — they need to be permanent,” Ryan stated at the  annual policy summit on Tuesday. “Every expert agrees that temporary reforms will only have a negligible impact on wages and economic growth.”

“We think this is eminently doable, to get it done by the end of the calendar year,” he later said in a question-and-answer forum following his speech. “… So that come the first of [2018] we have a new system in place and everybody knows the rules of the road.”

Ryan wants permanent tax reform – not a temporary tax cut. The Speaker has been a proponent of this for quite some time. While chairing the House Ways and Means Committee, he lead the production of tax reform blue prints that now serve as the foundation for early GOP talks. There are still questions as to what exactly the GOP bill would entail. House members are not just divided on whether reform should be permanent, but if it should include the House border adjustment tax – legislation to allow exports to be tax free.

Republicans control Congress. What is the hold up in negotiations?

From day one, GOP leaders wanted to focus on healthcare reform before touching taxes. Now that the AHCA has moved to the Senate, Ryan wants to dive head first into tax policy. However, a growing chorus of House Republicans and White House officials are becoming skittish at expansive changes and are leaning toward simple tax cuts.

Whatever route they choose, they are hoping to tackle the issue sooner rather than later. Many congressional Republicans wish to cancel August recess in order to work longer.

Tax reform would be a big win for the GOP. This is why they must strive high and look towards expansive, long term reform.

Unlike more hot-button issues such as the American Health Care Act or massive infrastructure spending, tax reform is popular among Republican voters and the American electorate as a whole. Most agree that our tax code is too complex and burdensome on our families and businesses. Ryan touched on this in his speech when he referred to America’s 35 percent corporate tax rate – compare this to Canada’s rate of 15 percent.

Not only is tax reform popular among the Republican “establishment,” it is something that perfectly coincides with Trump’s America First agenda. A border adjustment tax would incentive companies to stay on American shores. More American-made products mean more American manufacturers.

President Trump has done well with his use of the pen and executive orders. However, the GOP controls all the levers of Washington and they need to show something for it at the legislative level. Healthcare reform is moving slowly and looking unlikely to pass the Senate. A tax bill that cuts rates and simplifies the system would undoubtedly be popular among the majority of lawmakers.

The GOP needs a win and that win should be tax reform.

 

Paul Ryan Saved Donald Trump Again

The Trump super PACs tried to play in Georgia’s sixth congressional district. They tried. Handel’s campaign was outmatched massively in money. The Trump PACs tried to come in, but they did more harm than good with a terrible and distracting ad that tried to attach the Washington shooting to Jon Ossoff. They did nothing on the ground.

Meanwhile, Democrats poured money into the state and launched a massive air war and ground game.

It was the Congressional Leadership Fund that defined Ossoff early as an out of district carpet bagger. The CLF continued that message into the runoff and tied Ossoff to Pelosi, who is as unpopular as Trump in the district.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, controlled by Paul Ryan, once again saved the President from a round of press coverage declaring him poison to the GOP.

Paul Ryan on House Floor: “We Are All Being Tested Right Now.”

This morning, at 12:18pm ET, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered an emotional address on the House floor, at times showing a strained voice as he encouraged his colleagues to move beyond the partisan rancor in a surreal moment for all of them.

 

“My colleagues, there are very strong emotions in this house today.

“We are all horrified by this dreadful attack on our friends and colleagues and those who serve and protect this capitol. We are all praying for those who were attacked and their families. Steve Scalise, Zachary Barth, Matt Mika, Special Agent David Bailey, Special Agent Crystal Griner… We are all giving our thoughts to those being treated for their injuries at this moment, and we are united. We are united in our shock, we are united in our anguish, and an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.

*Standing ovation*

“I know we want to give our thanks to the first responders, and the Alexandria Police Department, who were on the scene in minutes. And I know this house wants to say unequivocally, that we are as ever awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol police.

“I spoke with Special Agent Bailey, and Special Agent Griner this morning. One of them was being treated, and the other one was about to go into surgery. I expressed our profound gratitude to them. It is clear to me, based on various eyewitness accounts, that without these two heroes, agent Bailey and agent Reiner, many lives would have been lost.

“I know that we all want to learn as much as we can about what happened. We all just received everything from the Sergeant-at-Arms. I have complete confidence in the investigation that is being conducted by the Capitol police, and the FBI, who are also working with local law enforcement.

“I know we want to extend our gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received from throughout the capital and throughout the country. And now, knowing Steve Scalise as we all do, he is likely to be really frustrated that he’s not going to be able to play in the baseball game. I also know that Steve wants us all to commend the bravery of those who came to the aid of the wounded.

“In the coming days, we will hear their stories. We will have a chance to hold up their heroism. My colleagues, there are so many memories of this day that we will want to forget. And there are so many images that we will not want to see again. But there is one image in particular that this house should keep. And that is a photo I saw this morning of our Democratic colleagues gathered in prayer this morning, after hearing the news.

“You know, every time we come here to test and challenge each other, we feel so deeply about the things that we fight for, and the things we believe in, that at times our emotions clearly get the best of us. We are all imperfect. But we do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber. For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family. These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire. These were our brothers and sisters who ran into danger and saved countless lives. So, before this house returns to its business let’s just slow down and reflect. To think about how we are all being tested right now. Because, we are being tested right now.

“I ask each of you to join me to resolve to come together, to lift each other up, and to show the country and the world that we are one house, the People’s house, united in our humanity. It is that humanity which will win the day, and it always will. It always will.

God bless.”

 

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) followed Speaker Ryan’s remarks with some of her own, acknowledging the “distinguished Speaker,” and in a lighthearted moment said, “to my colleagues, you’re going to hear me say something you’ve never heard me say before: I identify myself with the remarks of the Speaker. They were beautiful remarks, Mr. Speaker, thank you so much for the sentiments they represent.”