Deroy Murdock: The lame-duck session should sprain Trump’s wrist
"It’s about stopping the GOP,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said on election night. Voters turned her minority into a majority Tuesday evening. But Democrats do not get their hands on the lower body until January 3, which lets Republicans write this story’s final chapter.
Democrats will stop the GOP. Pelosi, or whoever becomes speaker, will convert the House into a giant rubber stamp that says, “HELL NO!” Aside from an infrastructure bill, anything that slips past filibustering Democrats and passes the GOP Senate will be machine-gunned the second it reaches the House. The Trump/GOP legislative agenda, as such, dies in two months. Instead, the Democratic House will launch big-government measures (even if they sink in the Senate), probe every curve of the Trump administration, and possibly impeach President Donald J. Trump for the high crime of defeating Hillary Clinton two years ago this week. He crushed the Duchess of Chappaqua’s dreams. And for that, he must suffer the stain of impeachment, even though there is zero chance that 67 senators would vote to convict him.
House Democrats cynically will ensure that nothing Trump wants goes anywhere. Then, come 2020, they will slam him as a do-nothing president. There is no bottom to the Democrats’ craftiness.
Facing these facts, Republicans should lead the mother of all lame-duck sessions. In fact, they should call it the working-duck session.
• As deficits and the national debt creep higher, Congress should pass the Penny Plan. Every dollar of “on-budget” federal spending this year would drop to 99 cents in 2019, 98 cents in 2020, and so on. In 2024, spending would hit 94 cents on the dollar. This should yield a balanced budget as painlessly as possible, without touching Social Security.
• It’s now or never to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Senate should revisit the “skinny repeal” bill on which the late Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) turned his thumb down. The reliably conservative Senator John Kyl (R., Ariz.), McCain’s temporary replacement, would turn his thumb up on this measure. If the other Republican “Ayes” hold, Obama’s national embarrassment finally will be unplugged.
If all of this requires additional work by a conference committee, to marry the “skinny” measure with better, earlier House repeal/replace language, lawmakers should get busy. If a new budget resolution and reconciliation are needed, Congress has two months to do what it must to keep its sacred promise to the American people and to prevent Obamacare from sinking even deeper roots until at least 2021.
• One of ObamaCare’s most obnoxious features is the 10 percent tanning-salon tax. No surprise, this discriminatory levy hammered this industry. Some 10,200 tanning shops have closed since 2010. According to the American Suntanning Association, 70 percent of these now-padlocked small businesses were women-owned. Democrats betrayed those whom they claim to champion. Republicans should make Democrats reverse their severe damage to law-abiding businesses and let the sun go down on the sexist suntan tax.
• Congress should provide permanent legal status to some 700,000 DACA recipients in exchange for a fully funded border wall. The violent, barrier-busting, rock-throwing, helicopter-attacking pedestrian invasion force — still headed north — vividly confirms the desperate need to control America’s colander-like southern frontier.
• The House-passed Tax Cut 2.0 bill would make last year’s tax relief permanent, thus avoiding an automatic tax hike come 2026, if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expires. Senate Democrats have bemoaned this potential middle-class tax increase. So, they should vote to avoid it forever.
• Congress should adopt the Higher-Rate-Optional Tax. Through the H.O.T. Tax, any American who feels under-taxed may designate on his 1040 form whatever higher rate he prefers to pay, multiply his income by that steeper levy, and send that amount to Washington. This should silence wealthy liberals who despise tax cuts — until they pass, whereupon they pocket them. These swells can pay however much more they wish, and everyone else can enjoy tax relief.
• The bipartisan Online Sales Simplicity and Small Business Relief Act would limit state-level Internet taxes — a virtuous cause, indeed.
This piece appears courtesy of the National Review Online. To continue reading Deroy Murdock's column click here.