Will Republicans Fight For Their Voters? Or Will They Cave?

By Jenny Beth Martin

There is a conservative majority that voted to put Republicans in power. When the act of voting is divorced from the conduct of governing, voters begin to ask, what is the point of voting?

These conservative voters gave Republicans control of a unified government – at least in name…but the policies we are getting are liberal Democrat policies. That is NOT the way it is supposed to work.

This subverts the intent of the framers. It is an attack on the Constitution and one the fundamental principles of our country – that winners set policies. We settle our differences with ballots, not bullets. This only works if the ballot box winners set policy.

The agreement that was announced today would give congressional Democrats even MORE leverage over the government funding fight in December. They would be able to use a threat to withhold votes then to win concessions they couldn’t otherwise get.

That’s a fools’ play, a TRAP, and Republicans should to reject it out of hand.

Instead, they should increase the debt limit by $200 billion – enough to last about four months, to the end of January, to get us past the Christmas recess deadline. We know how congressional leaders like to use holiday breaks as hard deadlines, to pressure their members to vote for bad legislation just so they can get out of town for the holidays.

The debt ceiling vote should stand on its own. Combining it with anything else, whether Harvey aid or a Continuing Resolution, reduces accountability to the voters. As such, it subverts the Framers’ intent, and it should be avoided.

Our supporters have worked hard over the last eight years to put conservative majorities in the House and the Senate, and we worked very hard last year – especially in Pennsylvania, where we generated 2 million volunteer phone calls to targeted voters – to put President Trump in the White House.

We didn’t work this hard just to let the Congress continue to enact liberal policy priorities.

We didn’t work this hard just to raise the debt ceiling without any spending reductions or spending reforms.

We didn’t work this hard just to keep going down the same path as before.

If Congress is going to raise the debt ceiling, it should ONLY do so with significant spending reforms attached. The House Freedom Caucus voted last night to demand a limit on federal spending – it should be no more than 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product.

I haven’t had time to survey our supporters on this specific House Freedom Caucus proposed deal, but that sounds like the right direction.

Here’s what I DO know for sure – our 3 million supporters, including the tens of thousands of volunteers who worked to give Republicans the majority in both houses of Congress and the presidency, believe $20 trillion in debt is quite enough, thank you, and will not tolerate Republican backsliding.

Raising the debt ceiling without significant spending reforms is simply unacceptable.

Making a deal that gives liberals more leverage when we hit this tipping point again in 3 months is unacceptable.

Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, and all Republicans have a choice to make – will they fight for their voters, or will they instead cave, in hopes of winning the support of the editorial board of The New York Times?