Congress is back in session and the million dollar question is whether conservatives will fight. Will they fight to defund ObamaCare? Will they fight to force votes on issues that matter to the American people? Will they cut spending and keep taxes low? Or will they refuse to fight and hand over yet another victory to President Obama and his allies? Conservatives in Congress have not put many points on the board this Congress, and it is not a coincidence that President Obama has a chance of securing a second term.
The most important activity for conservatives this week is prayers and remembrances for the souls lost on 9-11. We as a nation should never forget the evil acts on September 11, 2001, and need to be vigilant to make sure that it never happens again. In addition to prayers, Americans need to pressure Washington to keep in place programs that protect America. President Obama has shown a willingness to disarm commercial airline pilots who participate in the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program (FFDO) – this would be terrible mistake.
The big issue that Congress needs to tackle before the next recess is a Continuing Resolution (CR). Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have a tentative deal for a 6-month extension of current spending levels into next year.
Conservatives in Congress punted on fighting for lower funding levels in the CR and are refusing to fight against extending ObamaCare funding into next year. Chalk the CR up as yet another election year victory for President Obama. Expect a high profile signing ceremony and the pundits declaring the early death of the Tea Party.
It seems as if conservatives in Congress are content to play defense. They are pledging to fight against additional legislation being tacked onto the CR like the farm bill. We shall see if conservatives hold the line on the farm bill and other new spending in a CR.
This shall be an active week in the House and Senate. Both chambers are emptying the legislative outbox in anticipation of a fight on a CR. There are a couple of big issues pending, but anything controversial will be pushed into a Lame Duck session after the elections. Debates on legislation to extending tax cuts for all Americans, getting rid of the defense sequester cuts and the farm bill will probably be dealt with after the elections.
The Senate has scheduled a vote on Stephanie M. Rose to be a District Court Judge for the S.D. Iowa. A cloture vote has been scheduled to start debate on the “Veterans Jobs Corps Act,” S. 3457. The heavy lift will come later in the week or early next week when the Senate commences debate on a CR.
The House has scheduled eleven votes on the suspension calendar for Monday. Votes scheduled for Monday include the following: H.R. 3397, a bill to set cabin fees for those in national parks; H.R. 2706, a fish preservation bill; H.R. 6007, a water transfer bill; H.R. 2489, a battlefield preservation bill; H.R. 2139, a Lions Club coin earmark bill; H.R. 6186, a voluntary flood insurance study bill; H.R. 4264, a FHA mortgage insurance bill, H.R. 6122, a bill granting more authority to the Librarian of Congress; H.R. 406, a modification to campaign finance law; H. Con. Res. 132, a government printing bill; and, H.R. 6336, a bill to create a Frederick Douglass statue.
On Tuesday, there are a series of twenty one votes scheduled. Tuesday votes scheduled include the following: H.R. 4631, a government travel transparency bill;H.R. 538, a bill requiring better customer service for government agencies; H.R. 4057, a veterans educational bill; H.R. 4305, a missing persons bill; H.R. 6215, a trademark bill; H.R. 6185, a courthouse safety bill; H.R. 1775, the Stolen Valor Act; H.R. 6080, a positive law technical corrections bill; H.R. 2800, an Alzheimer’s patient alert bill; H.R. 6189, Justice Department spending report bill; S. 3245, an E-Verify bill; H.R. 6131, an Internet fraud bill; S. 710, EPA reporting bill; H.R. 5865, a manufacturing bill; H.R. 3857, a bill expanding local law enforcement access to Homeland Security monies; H.R. 6028, a bill to change screening for checked baggage on commercial aircraft; H.R. 1410, a bill to punish government in Socialist Republic of Vietnam; H. Res. 484, another bill relating to Vietnam; H.R. 1464, a North Korea refugee bill; H. Res. 177, a Sri Lanka bill; and, S. Con. Res. 17, a bill relating to Taiwan.
Conservative voters are hoping that their elected officials will stand up and fight against big government. Not fighting now does not portend a stomach to fight next year, even if Mitt Romney wins the presidency and Republicans take over the Senate.