If you listen to the rhetoric of most House Republicans, talk radio show hosts, Trump supporters, and Trump himself, we are living in unprecedented times of political danger and are in need of an immediate resolution. And they are not wrong.
We need an immediate redress of the political targeting of Americans that is now criminalizing political views and speech, which includes but is not limited to the prosecutions of Trump.
We need an immediate resolution to the border invasion orchestrated by the Biden administration.
We need an immediate reckoning and defunding of the vaccines for the biomedical tyranny state.
We need an immediate suspension of the federal policies funding the gender-grooming of children.
We need an immediate reversal of the spending and Green New Deal policies inducing inflation and destroying our basic standard of living.
These are just a few of the issues that cannot wait for 2025. McCarthy and other Republicans will posture about at least some of these issues, but have refused to use the few leverage points we have to make a difference.
Last month, I called on Speaker McCarthy to show the American people that he is serious about this rhetoric and commit to cutting the six-week recess short. By coming back to D.C. when Biden and Senate Democrats are absent, he could command national attention on each of these important issues. He could take the necessary time to work through divisions within the conference and pass each of the 12 appropriations bills with the requisite riders defunding the aforementioned dangerous policies of the Biden administration.
Coming back from recess would not only heal the divisions within the party but also demonstrate to the American people that his rhetoric about political targeting, the border, and inflation is not just banal political posturing. Acting with a sense of urgency would evince an image of momentousness to the American people. It would demonstrate that we cannot allow weaponized government that violates the essence of the social compact to continue one minute longer than its current funding mandate expiring midnight Oct. 1. That funding was passed with a Democrat House. Using the first deadline to change things would show that the GOP is finally serious and is unafraid of a government shutdown when messaged properly and when revolving around the right issues.
Instead, McCarthy told reporters Monday night that he plans to pass a short-term continuing resolution in September to fund government until December. He also expressed his plan as if it were some sort of theocratical exercise in efficiency, not as if we are in the war to save our civilization and basic constitutional rights. There was no promise whatsoever to refuse a penny of funding for these harmful activities. In other words, the same song and dance we’ve seen for years.
The House will not be back in session until Sept. 12 – even later than the Democrat-controlled Senate – which obviously gives legislators no time to pass the 11 remaining appropriations bills and to stand behind them in a properly messaged brinksmanship on the night of Sept. 30.
Can McCarthy do what we’ve asked of him in October and November? Theoretically he can, but once you accede to funding government at the current spending levels and policies for another few months at the first chance to change things, that is a demonstration that you fear a shutdown of government more than you fear government shutting down our lives, liberty, property, culture, and civilization. In other words, all the cathartic events that have occurred since Republicans last controlled the House will indeed not lead to a cathartic change in GOP thinking, which means Republicans will pass the same sort of omnibus bills in December. The only nuance McCarthy offered was that they wouldn’t have the CR expire right before Christmas, just at the beginning of December. As if that will make all the difference!
McCarthy already betrayed us with the debt ceiling deal, as we face the biggest debt bomb ever. That debt has increased by $1.2 trillion since his deal, the quickest in American history, and the Biden administration plans to service trillions more in debt in the coming months. Canceling the August recess to properly prosecute a budget fight is the only way to atone for that sin.
Some of us tried to warn about this after the midterms. It was precisely because of these moments why we wanted a better speaker. But Trump used his political clout to pressure the heroic members seeking change rather than supporting them. As such, he owns McCarthy. So why is Trump himself not warning McCarthy not to fund a penny of the DOJ come October 1 absent a provision defunding the prosecutions against him? Where is the sense of urgency? Clearly, we cannot wait until Jan. 2025.