Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak defended last week’s omnibus spending bill on Monday evening’s edition of Breitbart News Tonight.
“I know this is against the grain of conservative opinion … and contradicts some of what I have said,” Pollak said.
“I have pointed out … that the omnibus bill is massively expensive, it raises the prospect of trillion-dollar deficits. Nobody read it before they voted on it. … All of of that is true, and it’s bad.
“But let me make the case as to why this bill is … actually a big win for Republicans.”
Pollak’s argument made three basic points.
First, he said, there were several parts of the bill that were “amazing.” In that category, Pollak included the large increase in defense spending.
“I know there are some Trump supporters and libertarians who don’t like spending on defense. The fact is we have massive underspending on defense compared to what our needs are and what our threats are. And we have rectified that with this omnibus spending bill,” Pollak argued.
He noted that it was especially important to boost defense spending ahead of talks with North Korea — “You want [Trump] going in there, saying … ‘I am serious about the military option'” — and a likely U.S. exit from the Iran deal.
Another highlight, he said, was a rider called the Taylor Force Act, which would defund most U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as the Palestinian government continued to provide stipends to jailed terrorists or the families of dead terrorists. “This is a game-changer in the Middle East,” Pollak said. “It’s also going to tell foreign governments: don’t even think about supporting terrorism.”
Second, Pollak said, the omnibus bill had excluded some things Democrats wanted — not just amnesty for the so-called “Dreamers,” but also massive insurance subsidies for the Obamacare exchanges. In effect, the bill defunded that part of Obamacare, which the Obama administration had funded illegally and unconstitutionally.
“Maybe we’re so addicted to disaster and disappointment, we just didn’t see what a big win this was,” Pollak speculated.
Third, Pollak said, the timing of the omnibus bill was crucial. Not only would it ensure that later, necessary budget cuts would come only after the country’s defenses had been adequately improved, but it also gave Trump an opportunity for a huge political victory at the next budget fight in the fall of 2018 — right before the midterm elections.
“Conservatives are complaining now. Okay, I get that. People are disappointed. I also share that sense of disappointment. … But you know what? He has another chance to do it before the midterm elections. This fall, they’ve got to pass another budget.
“And President Trump has that opportunity — not only to fund the wall, but to veto anything he finds disagreeable that Congress coughs up. And people are going to think about that budget a lot more than they’re going to be remembering this one.
“When September, October rolls around, and the new fiscal year, and President Trump has that veto pen, he’s going to make a statement going into the midterms that could energize the conservative base and help him retain control of Congress.”
Co-host Rebecca A. Mansour did not agree with Pollak’s attempts to convince her. “It was a worthy effort. No, I still think this thing was a bad deal for all of us.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.