It was a good moment in the House of Representatives today when Nancy Pelosi handed over the Speaker’s gavel to John Boehner.
Boehner is off to a good start. Responding to a letter from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrat Senators urging him not to have the House vote to repeal Obamacare, Boehner told Reid exactly what he thinks of that with this brief message:
Senators Reid, Durbin, Schumer, Murray and Stabenow:
Thank you for reminding us – and the American people – of the backroom deal that you struck behind closed doors with ‘Big Pharma,’ resulting in bigger profits for the drug companies, and higher prescription drug costs for 33 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D, at a cost to the taxpayers of $42.6 billion.
The House is going to pass legislation to repeal that now. You’re welcome.
– Speaker-Designate John Boehner’s Press Office
We hope that Speaker Boehner will stick to his guns as the leftist media and Democrats continue to urge him to compromise. Bipartisanship and compromise are liberal code words for Republicans giving up the principles on which they have been elected. When Democrats are in charge bipartisanship is doing what Democrats want to do. With 87 new Republicans in the House, many of them having won with crucial Tea Party support, we hope that Republicans will not go wobbly on us and stand up confidently for smaller government, less spending, a strong America and individual freedom.
Here is the transfer of the gavel from Pelosi to Boehner:
The lame duck Democrats in Congress are frantically scrambling to pass items from their radical agenda that they failed to pass for the past two years when they were in control. Issues that they couldn’t get to while they had power are suddenly emergencies that have to be dealt with now: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (gays in the military), the DREAM Act (amnesty for illegal aliens), a pork-barrel loaded omnibus spending bill for 2011 and the START II Treaty with Russia.
This failed Congress needs to close up shop and go home. They have become the unwelcome house guest, staying and staying and indifferent to every hint the host can give to clear out. They are the neighbor across the hall who thinks nothing of knocking with an inane request in the middle of the night. They are the guy in the next room at the hotel who left his television on but fell asleep so you can listen to Sports Center all night through while he sleeps.
This Congress needs to go away. That which it did, it shouldn’t have done. That which is didn’t do, it can no longer do well.
Clear out. Vamoose. Scram.
Go play in the street.
Instead Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are desperately hanging on to the last moments they have control of Congress all the while blaming Republicans for their own failures. A silver lining in their ridiculous behavior is that it may discredit lame duck session of Congress to the point where they will not occur in the future. See Why the Lame Duck Congress Should be a Dead Duck .
Democrats demonstrated how serious they take corruption when they gave Rangel a standing ovation after he gave a speech at the censure today. Hot Air’s Allahpundit comments: “A fitting final note for ‘the most ethical Congress ever.’”
In the coming weeks the lame duck Congress will try to pass legislation rejected by the American voters on Nov. 2. Congressmen and senators who lost their seats in the election have a few more weeks in which they will try to impose their will on the American people.
Why do we have lame duck sessions and can they be abolished? Betsy McCaughey recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal about how lame duck sessions where supposed to be abolished in 1933:
Lame duck sessions were unavoidable before jet planes. The framers of the U.S. Constitution provided 17 weeks for newly elected members to travel to the capital and take their seats on March 3. That was the 18th century.
In 1933, Americans ratified the 20th Amendment to eliminate lame duck sessions. It set Jan. 3 as the day newly elected members would take their seats. That still left seven weeks after the election, but no one imagined that the old Congress would return to the capital during that time.
For a half-century, the 20th amendment worked. Except during World War II and the Korean War, Congress did not reconvene after November elections. But for the last two decades, lawmakers have hurried back to the capital after Election Day to deal with spending bills and controversial legislation they deliberately had avoided before the election.
There are two urgent matters before the Congress: the federal government’s authority to spend will end at the end of this week. Although many of us hate to see the debt ceiling raised again, it is a reality we will have to live with until we are able to pass large spending cuts. With two wars, a dangerous situation in North Korea and other essential government functions at risk, the lame duck Congress needs to pass a limited extension of spending authority for a couple of months. The new Congress can then start attaching spending cuts to future increases in the debt ceiling.
We are also faced with a large tax increase January 1 when the Bush tax cuts expire. The lame duck Congress should extend the current tax rates indefinitely. If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid cannot bring themselves to allow a vote on this, Republicans should block any scheme that raises taxes on a weak economy and take up the matter in January when they can retroactively keep the current tax rates.
Beyond this, the lame duck Congress should do only one thing: adjourn.
Democrats want the lame duck Congress to vote on all kinds of legislation they failed to pass in the past two years. This includes the DREAM act, which gives in-state tuition to illegal aliens, abolition of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gays and a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. President Obama even wants the Senate to ratify the START II disarmament treaty with Russia without giving the Senate time to do its usual due diligence when ratifying treaties with foreign powers. None of these issues are urgent and they should be debated and voted on by the new Congress.
Republican should block all of these last-minute efforts of Democrats to ignore the election results. They can quote President Obama who responded to Republicans wanting their ideas incorporated in Obama’s bills. He simply responded: “We won.” Yes, and now the opposition to Obama socialism has won and shouldn’t be willing to compromise and let a Congress with members that have been kicked out by the American people pass legislation rejected by the voters.
In January, the new Congress should pass a law that simply states that Congress will not reconvene after the November, 2012 election. Let’s make this lame duck session the last.
Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is deluding herself about why Democrats lost the election. She blames 9.5 percent unemployment as the sole cause for the loss. Well, yes, high unemployment certainly didn’t help, but it was the policies of the Obama administration and Pelosi’s House Democrats that have damaged our economy and suppressed job growth. Voters rejected Obamacare, stimulus spending and the vast overreach of the federal government that has been building up for some time and reached a new peak with the Obama administration.
Much to the joy of Republicans, Nancy Pelosi is going to stay on as Democrat Minority Leader in the House. Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama are the three politicians most visibly associated with the failure of the past two years. Having Pelosi around for the next two years continuing to support failed policies and demonstrating the arrogance of the Left is bound to help keeping American voters focused on the need to hand the Democrats another resounding defeat in Congress and the White House in 2012.