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Horowitz: The Senate’s permanent liberal supermajority strikes again
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Horowitz: The Senate’s permanent liberal supermajority strikes again

“Biblical” is not even the correct adjective to use when describing the Biden administration’s orchestration of the border invasion. In recent days, we’ve been averaging an annualized pace of 3-4 million people from every corner of the world. Yet not only are Senate Republican leaders, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), agreeing to fund Biden’s catch-and-release and “parole” programs, they are holding hands with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to jam House Republicans with a continuing resolution funding the status quo.

Never mind that Republicans are undermining their leverage on immigration and other existential crises in the process.

Much of the latest budget fight has focused on the fractiousness of the GOP House majority. Few people realize that the Senate GOP is even worse. While Democrats officially control the chamber, their tenuous one-seat majority is far short of the 60 votes needed to pass any government funding bill.

A GOP conference with a modicum of regard for the party’s platform could easily stymie Schumer’s desire to fund Biden’s violation of the social compact and national sovereignty, which would give the House time to make the first move in the budget standoff. Sadly, we can’t have nice things.

Senate Republicans have agreed to allow Schumer to pass a “clean” funding resolution through the Senate without a filibuster. Only 19 of the 49 Republicans opposed the vote to proceed with debate on the bill, mainly first-term senators.

So great is the Senate Republicans’ utter disregard for any of the harmful administration policies that they are even willing to set aside their obsession with Ukraine just to jam the House.

Senate Republicans originally demanded that the continuing resolution include Biden’s $24 billion in additional Ukraine funding, but now they are settling for only $6.1 billion in order to pressure the House to continue the Biden status quo on every other issue. They figure that dropping Ukraine funding from the bill will give them more leverage to keep the government open minus any reforms to Biden’s border policies or the weaponized Justice Department.

In short, although Senate Republicans care more about Ukraine than our border, in this case, they are willing to relent on Ukraine funding to ensure there is no national brinksmanship fight to force a resolution over the invasion.

And an invasion is exactly what it is. Foreign nationals are planting Venezuelan flags on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, yet Republican senators are more concerned with Ukraine and a temporary delay in pay for some federal workers who will enjoy a paid vacation retroactively. Republicans seem wholly uninterested in why the Border Patrol is now waving in millions of military-age males while preventing Texas from securing its border.

Biden has established his own parole program that will allow untold numbers of Venezuelans, Haitians, and Cubans to fly into the United States without a visa and remain indefinitely. Nearly 100% of the 225,000 who have come so far have been approved, in addition to the millions crashing our land border. Even Senate Republicans recognize that Biden has allowed 7.6 million illegal aliens to come to our border, yet their solution is to undermine the only leverage we have to fight it.

This entire budget saga reveals a very uncomfortable political reality conservatives must grapple with headed into 2024. Even in the best-case scenario in which Republicans retake the White House and the Senate and add to their slim majority in the House, conservatives will remain a distinct minority. In fact, the left maintains a permanent 80-20 majority ... and that’s being generous to conservatives.

These are not just mealy-mouthed moderate Republicans. The upper chamber is full of full-throated leftists who often believe in the top left-wing desiderata more than even garden-variety Democrats. Let’s not forget that Republicans officially controlled the Senate during COVID and passed the CARES Act, which led to the worst tyranny and worst debt-driven inflation of all time. McConnell and others lauded it as a World War II-style investment.

Despite the Republicans’ obsession with public health, they still feel no sense of urgency to shut down the border, even though we are now seeing tuberculosis and other highly communicable diseases appearing among newcomers arriving from every corner of the world. And let’s not forget that while Ukraine grift and money laundering are one of the top objectives of the Democrats, Senate Republicans believe Biden hasn’t spent enough of our money on Ukrainian salaries and weapons, as we suffer debt and inflation.

It didn’t have to be this way. Some of us have been working on Senate primaries for years. I personally tried to recruit against McConnell and his top lieutenants but was constantly told, “We just need to beat the Democrats.” Ten years ago, headed into what looked like a good year for Republicans, I warned in a Fox opinion column that we were “building a GOP majority on quicksand” — a majority that would result in supermajority liberal support.

Throughout the past decade, I warned against nominating or re-nominating senators like Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cindy Hyde Smith (R-Miss.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). Nobody joined the movement against these people, and they won with overwhelming majorities despite screwing conservatives on every issue that mattered. Now Republicans are prepared to continue the trend of nominating saps and ideological weaklings from deep red states by giving the nod to Jim Justice — the lockdown king of West Virginia — to challenge Joe Manchin for Senate in another deep red state.

All too often we are told it’s always better to vote for a Republican in the general election over a Democrat. Undoubtedly, the time to focus on such fights is during the primaries. Sadly, our people are asleep at the wheel, opting to re-nominate every single incumbent, no matter their spinelessness.

As the current budget fight shows, however, there are times when liberal Republicans more effectively subvert our prerogative than Democrats do. Nothing is more important than a budget bill. Yet Senate Republicans will cede their leverage to the Democrats every single time.

At some point, when we are so far from a conservative majority in the Senate, it’s better to focus on quality than quantity.

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