The big question now confronts a newly-emergent Republican majority in the Senate and an overwhelming Republican majority in the House: what next? Some party leaders have called for working with the opposition; some have proposed comprehensive legislation. Others say it’s time to push forward with a hard-core conservative agenda, full speed ahead.
The answer truly lies in combatting the narrative that the media will no doubt embrace: Republicans as the Party of No. We saw this narrative emerge in the aftermath of the Republican victories of 2010; Obama then ran against the supposedly obstructionist Congress. The media, seeking to prop up a Hillary Clinton run, will now demonize the Republican Party as a roadblock to progress.
Which is why the GOP must reverse the narrative. It is President Obama who is the roadblock. He is, in fact, the President of No.
How can the GOP achieve this reversal? By moving beyond omnibus packages, pork-laden monstrosities cobbled together via a consensus-building process. Instead, Republicans should pursue short, single-issue bills, no more than 10 pages in length, with clear and concise language. The bills should all be simple, comprehensible, and inescapable in the conclusions constituents should draw from a Congressional vote on them.
Here are the top options for Republicans:
Stop Amnesty Now. President Obama wants to pursue executive amnesty. We all know it. He knows it; his cabinet knows it; the media know it. The Republicans should pass a one-page bill defunding any agency of government that refuses to implement federal immigration law or that facilitates such refusal. The executive branch does not have the cash to implement amnesty – unless Congress gives it to President Obama.
Border Security. Republicans should immediately pass a bill securing the southern border, with funds available to complete the fence. Those funds should, if possible, be given to border state governors for implementation should those governors apply for grants. Furthermore, Republicans should fully fund all immigration agents so that the great lie that government cannot keep track of those illegally in the country can be put to bed once and for all: if the IRS can keep track of hundreds of millions of Americans, surely the feds can keep track of 10 million illegal immigrants.
Piecemeal Funding Of The Government. Republicans are already talking about passing a full budget. They shouldn’t. The budget process is a joke, created purely for the purpose of lard-slathered legislation. Instead, Republicans should individually fund each portion of the government, and force Obama to veto every one of those bills. Let him go on record as opposing funding for the Defense Department, the Centers for Disease Control, and the like, all in order to preserve his precious Obamacare. It will be difficult for him to argue that a government shutdown is the Republicans’ fault when he has hundreds of individual bills funding everything Americans want on his desk awaiting signature.
Repeal Obamacare. Yes, full repeal. Obama will reject it. That does not matter. The point is that the American people do not like Obamacare, and are not interested in preserving it. A full quarter of Americans said in exit polls yesterday that health care was their top voting priority. That number is likely to rise as Obamacare is implemented. Republicans pledged repeal. Now is the time for them to fulfill that pledge.
Restore Defense Department Cuts. The cuts to Defense funding under President Obama’s sequestration have been disastrous for Americans’ security. We no longer have the capacity to fight two wars simultaneously – a basic requirement of national security – and we are looking at the greatest cuts to military readiness in almost a century. Republicans should move quickly to replace Defense spending in the face of a growing threat from Islamic terrorism, Russian imperialism, and Chinese militarism.
Withdraw Funding From Certain Parts of The United Nations. The United Nations is an amoral joke, and councils like the Human Rights Council are far worse than that. Spending millions of taxpayer dollars to prop up failing dictatorships and thugocracies isn’t just wrong, it’s an insult to the men and women who work every day to stop such dictatorships – and those who die trying to fight them.
Pass Strong Sanctions on Iran, Withdraw Funding for the Palestinian Authority, Move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. President Obama’s outreach to Iran has been one of the greatest catastrophes for American foreign policy in decades. Iran will go nuclear, unless the United States takes severe action against Iran. That means harsh sanctions, beginning now. That would also send Iran the signal that no matter how much President Obama hates “chickens***” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the people of the United States stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel. The same message would be sent by moving the embassy to Jerusalem – right now, the Obama administration refuses to even state that Jerusalem is a part of Israel – or with a move by the Congress to cut off foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, which is working with Hamas in a genocidally anti-Jewish campaign of terror against the Jewish state.
Dismantle Common Core. Common Core is set to plague states across the country with its mishmash of standards and requirements. Federal power over education should be delegated back to the states, where it belongs. Republicans on the state level should then vote to set up grant programs that create actual teacher training standards, as in countries like Finland.
Greenlight Keystone XL. New Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already said that this remains a top priority. President Obama should be forced to give Keystone XL an up-or-down decision as soon as possible. As Alison Lundergan Grimes found out, Americans like access to energy.
There are plenty more such legislative proposals worthy of consideration. The bottom line: if Republicans blow this opportunity to draw a contrast with the Democratic Party, they will have failed dramatically. President Obama must become the President of No in order for Americans to see Republicans as a party worth saying yes to in 2016.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.