Military at Ease After Trans Ban Survives
When Congress sets records, they aren’t always good ones! But Monday, the Senate kept a good streak alive, passing the $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 56th consecutive year. In a Capitol where regular order is rarer than a solar eclipse, the military’s spending bill is one of the few things Congress manages to approve on time. It hasn’t missed since “West Side Story” was in the theaters, and gas cost 27 cents a gallon.
But if there was ever a year when the streak might have snapped, it was this one. Apart from the hike in spending, liberal senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) threatened to make a stink about the president’s transgender policy. Despite being three of the most favorited tweets Donald Trump has ever posted, this pair was desperate to keep Obama’s dangerous social experiment alive. In comments to the press, they defended the gender confusion that’s been panned by the service chiefs, troops, and American people.
Gillibrand argued that “Our military is strongest when it represents the nation it serves.” In the end, that’s exactly who the president represented — a country that elected him to ignore the distractions of the last eight years and focus on the job at hand. And, as dozens of military leaders pointed out, that job was nearly impossible with Obama’s social engineering dogging their every move. Taxpayers didn’t escape the weight of it either, staring down a $3.7 billion tab for the next 10 years of transgender surgeries, treatments, and lost deployment time. In a force devastated by two terms of budget cuts, cultural shifts, suicide, sexual assaults, and recruitment woes, no one wanted to fling open the doors to more politically correct chaos — least of all the men and women in uniform.
Asked point-blank, almost 60 percent of active-duty military held a negative opinion of the decision to allow transgender troops to serve openly. More telling, more than half of that group said the policy change was having a terrible effect on military morale. In other words, it was unpopular, unproductive, and unreasonably expensive. Is it any wonder that one year after Barack Obama changed the policy, Trump changed it back? Like most Americans, he understands that the military’s job is to fight and win wars – not pander to a political agenda that weakens national security.
Fortunately, the majority of GOP leaders arrived at the same conclusion, refusing to give the Gillibrand-Collins amendment a second glance. That’s in large part to the thousands of you who heeded our call and urged your senators to support the president’s guidance. As a result, the NDAA sailed through the Senate 89-8 — without even debating a return to the demoralizing policy of the last year. Instead they focused on the military’s real priorities: increased pay, missile defense, better equipment, and more troops. And while the bill isn’t entirely out of the woods — the House and Senate still have to agree on the final package in conference — this is a huge step in the right direction. Our deepest thanks to the White House and all of you who refused to stop fighting for the people fighting for us.
Originally published here.
WARNING: Politics Can Be Hazardous to Your Health Care
The Senate isn’t exactly known for moving quickly — a trend GOP leaders will have to buck if they want a crack at repealing Obamacare before Sept. 30. With 11 days left to work until the window closes on this version of health care reform, Republicans are ramping up for a two-week roller coaster that could finally deliver on seven years of promises. After the media declared the GOP repeals dead and buried, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have been working to prove the critics wrong — reviving the party’s biggest agenda item when Americans least suspected it.
And unlike the August push, which ended in stunning defeat at the GOP’s own hands, Republicans seem a little more cooperative after three weeks at home with unhappy voters. “We are one vote away from doing this thing,” Sen. John Thune (R-SD) insisted. “The odds are improving. I told Bill Cassidy, he’s the grave robber. This thing was six-feet under. And I think he’s resurrected it to the point that there’s a lot of positive buzz and forward momentum.”
It’s the little repeal that could, Republicans insist. They’d better hope so. If the GOP stumbles in gutting Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood, it won’t just be catastrophic for America — but their majority. And pollster John McLaughlin can prove it. His latest survey spells disaster for the president’s party unless they start following his lead in the promise-keeping department.
“Trump supporters are the ‘floor on which Republicans stand,’” he warns, explaining that the pressure on the GOP has never been higher. “Contrary to media polls, which [McLaughlin] demonstrates in a memo skew results toward Democrats … Trump’s own support amongst his own voters remains high,” the Daily Caller explains. But, that support doesn’t extend to Republicans, especially if they continue on this path of not backing up their words with actions.
Voters, he warns, are less likely to support their congressman in the midterm elections if they:
Agreed to increase the debt limit without new constraints on future spending (69 percent of Trump voters)
Failed to stop Obama’s social experimentation with the military and transgenders (69 percent of Trump voters)
Refused to repeal Obamacare (68 percent of Trump voters)
Voted to bail out health insurance companies without repealing Obamacare (67 percent of Trump voters)
Did not support Trump’s more careful vetting of immigrants (67 percent of Trump voters)
Continue government spending without building the wall, and with Democrat priorities funded like Planned Parenthood (66 percent of Trump voters)
Failed to pursue investigations against former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (64 percent of Trump voters).
The moral of the story is the morals of the party. If Republicans don’t take a lesson in courage from President Trump and start getting things done, they’ll have no one to blame in 2018 but themselves. If they want to keep their jobs, they’d better start doing them.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.