Jan 10, 2015

South Placer Republican Women

I want to thank you for the hard work, long hours, and generous contributions you have made to the Republican cause and its candidates.  Republicans went all out last year, and we saw one of the great watershed elections in American history – far eclipsing even the 2010 election.

This was a wholesale rejection of the Obama agenda by the American people, and above all, it means that the greatest deliberative body in the world – the United States Senate – will begin to deliberate once again.

Barack Obama no longer has Harry Reid to hide behind.

The 400-plus jobs bills that the House passed – often with bi-partisan majorities – and that stopped dead in the Senate will now be taken up, debated, amended and passed.

Last week, the House sent Legislation to the President to get the Keystone pipeline back on track.  That’s $8 billion in new infrastructure investment – not one dime being take from taxpayers – 40,000 American jobs and when completed, a half-million barrels of Canadian Crude oil a day to ender American markets. 

Still awaiting action in the Senate is House-adopted legislation to begin dismantling Obamacare by increasing the fulltime work threshold to 40 hours.  It may not seem like much, but that provision has held millions of Americans stuck in part-time jobs by employers who couldn’t afford to meet the Obamacare mandates that kick in at 30 hours a week of employment.  This will at least restore fulltime employment to many struggling families that have been trapped in the 30-hour Obamacare box.

When Harry Reid blew up all of the House Republicans work, the President attacked us as “the most unproductive congress in history.”  Now, this same President who decried the do-nothing 113th Congress has just issued five veto threats in the first week of the new 114th Congress.

What else does the 2014 election mean?  It means that we can finally balance the federal budget again and stop the disastrous piling on of debt.

For four years, the House passed budgets that would balance within ten years, save Medicare from bankruptcy, and pay down the enormous national debt by the time today’s college students are retiring – meaning that they can retire into a prosperous and debt free America.  And for four years, the Senate sat on them – with the exception of the 2014 budget, that blew up the only meaningful restraint we had on federal spending – the sequester.

Now the balanced Republican budgets will be taken up by the Senate and passed.  And remember, Obama doesn’t get to veto the budget and it only needs a simple majority in the Senate. 

Once in place, all spending bills must fit within the that budget, and those legal changes necessary to reduce spending to fit within the budget can be included in a reconciliation bill that itself only requires a simple majority vote in the Senate. 

Look at the debt under this administration – $18 trillion.  It has nearly doubled under this president.   That’s $144,000 for every family in America.  That’s money that has to be paid back as surely as if it appeared on your credit card – in fact, you have to pay it back before you pay back your credit card.  When government borrows money, it borrows it from the same capital pool that would otherwise be available to businesses seeking to expand, or consumers seeking to make purchases – and remember that 2/3 of economic growth depends upon consumer spending. 

This places an enormous drag on the economy and it reduces standard of living for our children.  We all know if you live beyond your means today, you’ll have to live below your means in the future.  Under Obama, we’ve lived $144,000 per family ABOVE our means, which will require our children’s’ families to live $144,000 BELOW theirs.

Meanwhile, Medicare will bankrupt in 2033 and Social Security in 2035.  That means if you are 43 and younger, Medicare won’t be there for you.  And on its current trajectory, the promise of Social Security is that in just 20 years, your benefits will be cut by 25 percent.

That’s why it is so important to fix these systems before they bankrupt and that’s why it’s so important to restore fiscal responsibility.  The budget process is designed to do that and without Harry Reid, it can start to work again.

But there’s even more that we won in 2014.  Congress can again exercise the power of the purse to stop the President’s unlawful seizure of legislative authority – and this is of crucial importance to the survival of our constitution and the freedoms it protects.

The American founders recognized that the source of European despotism was the fact that all the powers of government were in the same hands.  All power was concentrated in and flowed from the sovereign – who made the laws, enforced the laws and adjudicated the laws.  Their subjects pledged their allegiance to that sovereign. 

America is fundamentally different.  In America, the people are sovereign, and we pledge our allegiance to the Constitution which separates the powers of government.

Article I – the first article and the longest article declares that “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.”

Once that legislative power has been discharged, the Presidency is created in the second Article – a much smaller article – that commands the President to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

One person does not get to make the law in this Republic.  The President is called upon to enforce it.

Fundamentally, that means that he does not get to pick which laws to enforce or which laws to ignore.  He does not get to pick who must obey these laws and who gets to live above them.  And he does not get to change laws or make laws by decree.

That is the difference between the American Republic that prides itself on being a nation of laws and not of men; and the European monarchs who boasted that the law was in their mouths.

The President is now asserting the entirely unconstitutional power to nullify existing immigration law by ordering the executive branch to ignore it.  Further, he has ordered 34 million green cards to make possible the employment of illegal immigrants despite federal law that explicitly forbids their employment. 

Throughout our nation’s history, executives have tested the limits of their power.  But this act crosses a very bright line. 

Fortunately, the American Founders anticipated that someday a President might attempt to subvert the Constitution in this manner and they provided a variety of defenses available to both the legislative and judicial branches.

One of the most fundamental is the power of the purse, which the founders left solely to the Congress.  While Harry Reid controlled the Senate that power was neutered, as we saw in 2013 when the Republican House tried to protect the American people from the disastrous rollout of Obamacare. 

Three times, House Republicans sent bills to the Senate to pay for the operations of the entire government except for Obamacare – and three times the Senate refused to act on that legislation as the fiscal deadline neared.  When the deadline passed without Senate action, the government shut down and Republicans were blamed.

On January 14th, the House sent the Senate an appropriations bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security while withholding fund for the President’s unconstitutional and unlawful extension of amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. 

Six Senate Democrats must join with Republicans to take up the bill.  Nine Senate Democrats have told their constituents that they oppose the President’s illegal amnesty order. 

According to the ABC-Washington Post poll, so does an overwhelming majority of Americans – who by a margin of 56 to 44 wants the President’s illegal order blocked. 

Now, with the court-ordered injunction blocking this action, the Democrats have no excuses.  Funding for the Department of Homeland Security lapses on February 27th, and we are now out of time.

Whether we choose to recognize it, this is a full-fledged Constitutional crisis.  If allowed to stand, this precedent of one man rule that the President seeks to impose renders meaningless the separation of powers and the checks and balances that comprise the fundamental architecture of our Constitution. If it stands, every future President – Republican and Democrat – will cite it as justification for lawmaking by decree.

The seizure of legislative authority by the executive is fatal to a republic such as ours.  Indeed, it was Julius Caesar’s usurpation of the Roman senate’s legislative prerogatives that ended the Roman Republic and introduced four centuries of dictatorship.  Once the rule of one man is established, it is a very difficult thing to stop.

This election now gives us the ability to stop it before it goes any further.

 I know many conservatives are upset that John Boehner was re-elected Speaker of the House, based on some of his actions and statements.  I have been a vocal critic of many of his policies – to the point that The Hill once featured me as one of the “twelve thorns in John Boehner’s side.”   But I felt very strongly that the selection of speaker is a battle that must be fought out among House Republicans, without shifting that decision to the House floor. 

Remember, 188 Democrats get to vote on the House Floor.  Not one of them gets to vote in the Republican Conference.  Those 188 Democrats are far more likely to combine with the 29 most liberal Republicans than the 29 most conservative.  That’s why I believe that Republican members must respect the collective decision of the conference when it comes to electing a speaker, even when we disagree with that decision. 

This is one vote where we must all hang together or we will most assuredly all hang separately.  

In coming days, there are many Republican members of Congress, including me, who will be watching his actions very closely.  Time will tell, of course, whether Boehner views the speaker’s election as a wake-up call.   If he continues down the path he’s been on, he risks a no-confidence vote within the conference.  

I hope it won’t come to that. I think there is a very good chance that we see a sustained string of policy victories in coming days like the Keystone pipeline, REAL border security, stopping Obamacare and blocking the unconstitutional executive overreach -- that will redeem House Republicans in the eyes of our supporters.

Finally, I want to thank you all personally for the strong support you gave me in the election his fall.                 

We had faced a cleverly engineered effort by a group of liberal Republican consultants to push a phony Republican challenger into the November election by manipulating the new California election rules.  They hoped to fool enough Republicans into combining with Democrats to flip the seat.  Their chief strategist, a former Schwarzenegger hack, had bragged this was just the beginning – once they were successful here, they intended to use these tactics against every other conservative Republican left in California, starting with Dana Rohrbacher.

To make matters worse, they had the unabashed support of the editorial page of the largest newspaper in the district that literally drafted the opposition’s campaign message and then unabashedly trumpeted it for eight months.  I came to observe that the two party system in this district was alive and well – we had the Republicans and the Sacramento Bee!

Thanks to your help, the result was not just a landslide, but an avalanche.  We won by 20 points.  And you don’t hear these liberal consultants or their mouthpieces in the press talking quite so boldly any more. 

I think our country has already passed a crossroads, it made the right choice, and we are now back on the road to recovery.  The Republican majority in the House is the largest since 1928 – and the Republican Senate will now begin to function again as the Founders intended.

On election night in 2012, I said that the American people were about to get a four-year, graduate level course in Obamanomics and at the end of that course they would be a lot sadder and a lot wiser.  It looks like they have already graduated, summa cum laude, two years sooner.  They have gotten a bitter taste of democratic socialism.  They’ve watched their economy languish, their children plundered by debt, their fundamental rights under the bill of rights trampled; they’ve watched our nation’s strength sapped away while the world has grown much more dangerous; they’ve watched their health care system decimated; and they’ve had enough.

All that we have to do as Republicans is to be true to our principles and true to the voters who put their trust back in us, and all will be well.  We will have another tremendous fight in 2016, but the American public is indeed sadder and wiser.  Just as importantly, they’re ready to take back their freedom, their prosperity, their heritage, their Constitution and their future. 

They are ready to join us if we will just raise our banner, as Reagan said, of bold colors.

When Britain faced its moment of truth in World War II, Winston Churchill read a handwritten note from President Roosevelt, in which he had penned a Longfellow poem.

            Sail on o ship of state

            Sail on o union strong and great

            Humanity with all its fears

            With all its hopes of future years

            Is hanging breathless on thy fate.

Churchill then asked what answer he should give in their name.  It’s the answer we Republicans can now give to the American people:

“Put your confidence in us.  Give us your faith and your blessing, and under providence, all will be well.  We will not fail nor falter.  We will not weaken nor tire.  Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down.  Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.”

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Tom McClintock
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