• Heritage Action
  • Heritage Libertad
  • More

July 14, 2009

The Era of Obama, Pelosi and Reid

By

The saying "You break it, you own it" applies to politicians in Washington, D.C. With the addition of Senator Al Franken (D-MN), liberals completely control federal legislative and executive power.

President Barack Obama has governed as a liberal, not the moderate senator he portrayed himself as during the campaign. Now, Democrats and liberal Independents have 60 votes in the Senate and the power to stifle debate. In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) dominates the legislative process. The far left-controlled federal government is on the verge of implementing an agenda of government run health care, another federal spending program disguised as a "stimulus," a Federal Reserve with no transparency and a frightening weakening of America's military.

The American people should understand that Obama, Pelosi and Reid have complete power to pass legislation. They'll own the results of their legislative agenda and can't blame Republicans for a broken economy.

Healthcare

Roll Call reported last week that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has jettisoned a bipartisan approach to health care reform in the hope the Senate can pass a bill without alienating the far left of his party. Democrats now have 60 votes and can block Republicans if they complain about a lack of input on the details of the bill. Vice President Joe Biden wants a comprehensive health care bill by the end of the year.

In the House, Republicans and the group Let Freedom Ring are demanding that members pledge not to vote on any healthcare reform bill they have not read. This idea made House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) laugh.

Meanwhile, the Senate is being asked to pass a bill in the next few weeks, and nobody has had time to study the details of the bill. Senator Ted Kennedy's (D-MA) bill is being considered in committee yet has billions in missing legislative language; Senator Max Baucus' (D-MT) bill has been in negotiations although the bill's language hasn't been given to other Senators or the pubic.

Since lawmakers are considering the most comprehensive overhaul of health care law in our lifetimes, Americans ought to demand they at least do so out in the open.

stimulus Part Two

When Obama sold his $787 billion dollar, so-called "stimulus Plan," he promised it would save or create between 3 and 4 millions jobs. At the time, unemployment was at 7.2%. Today most economists and the Obama administration admit unemployment might reach 10%.

Although the President's first "stimulus" package looks like a failure, it appears Obama's ready to double down on the idea that another big government stimulus package will spur economic growth.

For Members of Congress and the American people, there's been no specific explanation of what would be included in a new stimulus plan. The last stimulus was loaded with special interest projects and some infrastructure, which clearly aren't "saving" or "creating" jobs.

Conservatives need to point out the economic fact that the President's plan for new government spending can't provide long-term stimulus for the economy. Liberals seem to believe that all government spending spurs economic growth. In reality, low taxes, an end to oppressive regulatory schemes and no longer bailing out failing businesses are three common sense ideas that would provide real stimulus to the economy.

Audit the Fed

What do a Libertarian and a Socialist have in common? They both want to see the Federal Reserve subject to more transparency in its decision making. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have introduced legislation, the "Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009," to provide an audit of the Fed before the end of 2010.

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) offered an Amendment to implement the Paul-Sanders idea last week on an appropriations bill and the Senate Majority used a procedural tactic to block the DeMint Amendment. With the Fed creating trillions in new dollars and on the verge of getting grand new powers to regulate financial firms and banks, transparency is the least the American people can ask for.

Protecting America

If there's one constant in American politics, it's that the left-leaning politicians will always oppose ballistic missile defense. Their opinion seems based not on geopolitics or technology, but on dogma.

Unfortunately, President Obama falls into this camp and seems committed to let missile defense wither on the vine, from his slow bleed of missile defense research and deployment to his retreat on the missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Luckily, conservatives including Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) are fighting for American security. Conservatives will try to increase funding for missile defense and assure any agreement with Russia won't limit America's strategic missile defense system. Americans should embrace missile defense and aggressively question those who want to jettison the program. Our future may depend on it.

Brian Darling is director of U.S. Senate Relations at The Heritage Foundation

First Appeared in Human Events

Heritage's daily Morning Bell e-mail keeps you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.


The subscription is free and delivers you the latest conservative policy perspectives on the news each weekday--straight from Heritage experts.


The Morning Bell is your daily wake-up call offering a fresh, conservative analysis of the news.


More than 200,000 Americans rely on Heritage's Morning Bell to stay up to date on the policy battles that affect them.


Rush Limbaugh says "The Heritage Foundation's Morning Bell is just terrific!"


Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) says it's "a great way to start the day for any conservative who wants to get America back on track."


Sign up to start your free subscription today!