On Tuesday, before the House passed a “clean” Homeland Security funding bill, Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) warned that there will be “no upper bound” on President Barack Obama’s executive authority if House Republicans caved on a bill that does not defund Obama’s executive amnesty.
Brat, who is fast becoming the conscience of conservatives in the House, accused Republicans of appeasing Obama on domestic issues just like Obama has been appeasing and emboldening some of America’s foreign policy enemies on the global stage.
In an appearance on The John Fredericks Show in Virginia, Brat put the executive amnesty debate into proper constitutional perspective and noted that the truth “came out like a stick of dynamite last night” when White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest revealed that Obama is now “strongly considering” raising some corporate taxes via executive action. Brat said that if Obama is “strongly considering” doing that, “that means there’s no upper bound on the President’s authority” if Congress caves on his executive amnesty.
After Senate Democrats filibustered the House’s Homeland Security funding bill that would have funded everything except for Obama’s executive amnesty, the Senate passed a clean funding bill last Friday after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) allowed a vote on it. The House passed the clean funding bill on Tuesday, with every House Democrat and 75 House Republicans voting for it. When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced he would bring up the clean Homeland Security funding bill earlier in the day, he was reportedly greeted with dead silence.
“The Congress might as well not even be in business,” Brat declared. “After that announcement came from the White House last night, this puts our Leadership into a whole other realm of calculations. If they don’t see what’s coming down the road after that announcement, then we are beyond repair. But they do, they know what’s coming— they’re smart. [But] we’ll be throwing our Republican principles and the Constitution out the door if we don’t stand and fight on this one because [there’s] been an assault on the separation of powers.”
Brat said that Obama is testing the limits of his executive authority and how much overreach he can get away with “because the House won’t stand up and fight for the constitution and the rule of law” even though an overwhelming majority of Americans, according to a Paragon Insights poll, oppose Obama’s executive amnesty. And by a 17-point margin (53%-36%), Americans support a plan from “Republicans in Congress” to defund it.
“This is how civilization starts to go downhill, and we’re beyond starting,” Brat said. “It is just appeasement from us. We’re talking about President Obama’s weakness on foreign policy— and Chamberlain, and appeasement examples coming up left and right— and we’re, apparently, doing the same thing here on domestic policy. We’re caving one [red] line after the other.”
Brat noted that his colleague, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) warned liberals that they would “rue the day when you give up the rule of law.”
“We don’t realize what a blessing it’s been to this country, and what it’s given us for the last two hundred years,” he continued. “And to see that chipped away at is a scary thought.”
Brat also blasted the mainstream press for being “derelict” in their duty to cover the issue fairly, Senate Democrats, especially Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), for putting politics over voters, and Senate Republicans for not standing up for the Constitution.
“The Democrats are all in— they are totally loyal to their party, but they are not being loyal, in this case, to the Constitution,” he said. “The Senate has the incumbency protection plan down to a science. They know how to put a bill across that’s 100% written to appease the Democrats, but will not fight for our Constitutional principles at all.”
And he blistered the Republican establishment for savaging conservatives on the issue with attack ads while absolving Democrats of any blame.
When Fredericks asked Brat about the American Action Network, a pro-amnesty GOP group, running ads against House conservatives to pressure them to vote for a clean funding bill, Brat agreed that the ads were “reprehensible” and pointed out that Republicans never funded “ads against Senate Republicans and Democrats who would not put up a fight against [Obama’s] unconstitutional [executive amnesty]. So we [Republicans] used our money to go after our own in-House guys when we promised for the last two months that we would fight tooth and nail against President Obama’s unconstitutional overreach.”
“So we’re taking it to our own guys, who are standing strong on principle, on the constitution,” he said, further proving conservative icon, scholar, and talk radio host Mark Levin’s declaration at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that conservatives must understand that, “in order to defeat the Democrats, we have to defeat the Republicans.”
Just like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) won his elections not because of the power of his personal brand of politics but because the Tea Party movement powered him, Brat understands that voters opposed to the bipartisan permanent political class, especially on massive amnesty for illegal immigrants, put him in Congress.
“Even the smart people in the room are confusing cause and effect. They think I Brat Cantor won some election, right?” he said. “Like I had some strategy or something. That’s not what happened. The people put me in office. The people are finding out what’s going on and they are not happy with the status quo and they want change.”
Post-election polling showed that Brat defeated Cantor last year because of Tea Party voters and the amnesty issue, and Brat declared after his upset, which shocked the political world and ended any chance the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” comprehensive amnesty bill would pass, that no issue divides the bipartisan elites in the permanent political class on Wall Street and K Street from Main Street than amnesty.
“You can trace every issue back to that. It’s just always follow the money on any issue… Just go follow the money [because] there’s politics,” Brat again said on Tuesday. “What we’ve been missing for the past couple decades is the American people. They’re waking up. We had a resounding victory, but D.C. still has not gotten the memo.”
In his first months in Congress, Brat has shown that he is a citizen-politican who will not morph into the type that promises to change Washington and allows Washington to change him by proverbially seeing the D.C. cesspool as a jacuzzi and taking multiple plunges. His allegiance is to the voters who sent him to D.C. instead of the permanent political class that does not think promises made to voters matter once candidates win their elections.