With the Nov. 6 midterm elections in sight, the message of U.S. House Republicans to voters has been consistent. GOP candidates are touting their pro-growth policies that have led to our nation’s strong economy and increased paychecks for millions. They are contrasting that with the increased chaos and disorder that a Democratic-controlled House would bring.
To make that contrast clear, Republicans have explicitly pointed out that should Democrats take control of the House they will reinstall Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as speaker. That would allow her to pursue a far-left agenda that would stunt the aforementioned positive developments.
What gets less attention is the fact that not only would Pelosi be leading the House, but she’s said her chief lieutenants would replace GOP leaders atop some of the most important congressional committees. These individuals would have wide latitude to make decisions and impact policy in stark opposition to how Republican committee chairs have operated.
For example, currently at the helm of the House Armed Services Committee is Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas. He has been a champion for America’s military by giving our troops their largest pay raise since 2010 and making the most significant investment in our armed forces in a decade-and-a-half.
But if Democrats win majority control of the House, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., would assume the chairmanship of the Armed Services Committee – and that’s worrisome for supporters of a strong military and a strategic national defense.
Smith has said we must take a more “realistic” view of our defense budget and claims that the current National Defense Authorization Act spending is “too high.” Under his chairmanship, Democrats would push to roll back the gains that the Republican-controlled Congress and President Trump have made in strengthening our military. Smith would instead divert funding that should go to our troops into other areas of government.
A House controlled by Democrats would also leave Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., on deck to chair the House Financial Services Committee. The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has labeled Waters “one of the most corrupt members of Congress.”
CREW said Waters engaged in “outrageous conduct” when she “used her position as a senior member of Congress and member of the House Financial Services Committee to prevail upon Treasury officials to meet with OneUnited Bank. She never disclosed that her husband held stock in the bank.”
When Waters is not vowing to impeach President Trump or encouraging her supporters to go after members of his Cabinet in public settings, she’s offering a far-left policy agenda that would be a roadblock to economic growth.
Waters has made clear that she would concentrate most of the committee’s resources on re-litigating 2016, and has already been working for months to subpoena documents that involve the Trump family. Compare that to the work done under the committee leadership of Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. Hensarling has focused on rolling back the damage done by Dodd-Frank and helping to bolster community banks and businesses.
At the Ways and Means Committee, Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, has led a historic overhaul of the U.S. tax code and intends to push additional reforms that will keep America’s economy and workers strong. However, if Democrats take the majority, would-be Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., won’t focus on pocketbook issues, but instead has promised to direct the committee on a scavenger hunt for President Trump’s tax returns.
Elsewhere, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., would take the gavel as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Schiff is beloved by MSNBC producers for his frequent appearances attacking President Trump and other Republicans, but his elevation to the chairmanship would be unwelcome for those who prefer a functioning Congress.
Then there’s Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who would chair the House Judiciary Committee in a Democratic House. Nadler has already said that he wants to further investigate new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, continuing the character assault on this good man. Nadler impugned the FBI’s recently reopened investigation of Kavanaugh as a supposed “whitewash.”
Slashing the defense budget, inciting violence, launching partisan fishing expeditions, and impeaching Kavanaugh may sound like heaven to the fringe corners of the Democratic base, but it’s hardly what swing voters interested in an effective federal government desire.
While Pelosi gets the bulk of the attention as the face of House Democrats, it’s the members like Smith, Waters, Neal, Schiff, and Nadler who would wield added influence and bring more divisiveness and dysfunction to Congress.
Voters who think that it may be time for a change should think again about how those changes will impact not only their lives, but the overall direction of the country.