Trump Budget a Cut Above the Rest
“A great country can’t borrow a trillion dollars a year,” Stephen Moore warned. Nobody has to tell Donald Trump that. The man who’s responsible for the economic boom knows a thing or two about finance. So maybe, when he sends a budget plan to Congress, they should listen.
President Trump was never a politician. What he was is a successful businessman. For years, he turned companies around and made them profitable — and he could do the same for America, if leaders would give him a chance. There’s just one problem: not much of Congress has the stomach for it.
Moore, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, helped formulate a plan with the Trump campaign nearly four years ago. The first part of the strategy, he told “Washington Watch” listeners, was “grow the economy, get people back into jobs, get people off welfare and into work, get companies more profitable so that they hire more workers… [And] when companies make more money, they pay more taxes.” All of that, he agreed, has gone very well. “The economy is flying high right now. Maybe the best economy in 30 years. [There are a] record number of people working… Tax revenues to the government are just bursting every record. [But] the problem is that there have been almost no spending controls.”
As every president does at the beginning of the year, Trump released his budget draft — a solid proposal with modest cuts and caps on spending. But usually, the frustration is that the second this gets to Congress, it’s dead on arrival. That’s a shame, since conservatives desperately want someone with the spine to ax programs we never should be funding in the first place: things like Planned Parenthood, PBS, certain arts endowments, failing education projects, and on and on. But every time members look at cutting something, it ends up in a stalemate with the threat of a government shutdown.
And Democrats aren’t the only ones to blame, Moore argues. “I’m frustrated because, frankly, neither party in Congress wants to cut the spending. I mean, I remember… when we had the Tea Party movement and a real rebellion against the out-of-control spending. But I have to say, neither party has much interest in it. They like to play Santa Claus. That’s what Congress does… Every program has [a] constituency in Washington and lobbyists who fight for them.”
At a time when the government is running trillion-dollar deficits, this president is offering a way to balance the budget in 15 years, experts say. And he’s reinforcing pro-life policy in the process. His 2021 blueprint calls for defunding Planned Parenthood, slashing earmarks for UNFPA, stripping Title X “family planning” dollars, and in one explicit portion, calls for federal dollars to uphold conscience rights.
With Trump’s approval ratings at an all-time high, there’s no reason leaders couldn’t take his budget to the floor and tell America, “It’s not ours, it’s his.” Debate it, pass it, and let him sign it. The rest of the country makes difficult decisions with their money every day. It’s time for Congress to do the same. “We’re [doing] the best we can here in the administration…” acting Budget Director Russell Vought says. But real change “require[s] statutes.”
Originally published here.
My Phony Valentine: Dems Show No Love for Life
Imagine knocking out more than 500 pro-life laws in a single shot. It sounds too horrible to be true — except that in this House of radicals, nothing is impossible. When Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) dropped her bill, the ridiculously named Women’s Health Protection Act, it was like loading a deadly missile — aimed at all 50 states.
“We face a five-alarm fire in the danger to women’s reproductive rights,” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) barked at a press conference. “We need to command the urgency and immediacy that all of our lives are at risk.” Lives are at risk, all right — but not his. If Chu and her 215 co-cosponsors ever passed H.R. 2975, it would be the single most devasting vote on the unborn yet. It’s so sweeping, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) warned, that even the original Roe v. Wade ruling was tame by comparison. Those justices, he said, “never envisioned the extreme position reflected in this bill.” We’re talking about, he paused, “overturning nearly all federal and state limitations on abortion…” Everything pro-lifers have worked for literally decades would be eradicated — along with hundreds of votes in statehouses all across America.
“The whole point of living in a democracy is that your vote matters,” Americans United for Life argued. “What the House is considering would void democratically-enacted health and safety protections for more than 100 million Americans.” Congressman (and doctor) Andy Harris (R-Md.) talked about the aftershocks of this Thursday on "Washington Watch.“ As we pointed out, if this legislation went into effect — and it could if Democrats control of the Senate and White House — then all of the pro-life laws at the state level would be eliminated. We’re talking about elective abortions for any reason, right up to the moment of birth, at taxpayer’s expense. It would torpedo even the barest protections — like limits on painful late-term abortions, informed consent, even commonsense safety standards — things a majority of Americans, regardless of their party, support.
It’s not all that surprising, Dr. Harris shook his head, when you consider how far outside the mainstream the Democratic Party is. "You know, even the so-called ‘moderates’ like Mayor Pete, can’t bring himself to say that… late-term abortion should be outlawed or that the born-alive act should become law… [T]hey’re as radical as they can be.” But in this case, what the House is suggesting is “inventing a new constitutional right without the two-thirds majority necessary [to pass an amendment], plus the ratification of the states.” And if Americans want to stop them, he insisted, “It all comes down to November.”
“…[I]f it gets to the floor,” Harris agreed, “I think it will have the votes to pass. Thank goodness that Mitch McConnell in the Senate will never consider it. And of course, the president would never sign the bill. But this is a radical House… driven by the extreme Left-wing of the Democrat Party.” And for once, he pointed out, they may not have the courts on their side.
“We’re seeing now… how important it is that President Trump has appointed and confirmed over 190 judges, including two Supreme Court judges… In the next president’s term [whether it’s President Trump or someone else], there are likely going to be two appointments at least. And if those two appointments are liberal judges, then we’re going to revert to the old days of the courts inventing a right to abortion in the Constitution. If President Trump is reelected, I think we’re going to have a 6-3 majority… [and] a good chance that they will turn over abortion law back to the states where truly belongs.”
Over in the Senate, it’s night and day. While the House tries to disenfranchise voters and bulldoze state laws, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is pushing back with two pro-life bills of their own. One, a no-brainer for anyone with a scrap of decency, would order doctors to treat abortion survivors like patients when they’re born alive. It has absolutely nothing to do with abortion, as multiple senators argued during an emotional hearing this week — but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from fighting it. They’d rather embrace infanticide than admit that abortion survivors are people. It’s a horrifying position — one that Americans will get a good long look at it when McConnell holds a vote.
The second bill is one pro-lifers have been eyeing for years: the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. In a nod to President Trump, who called for outlawing barbaric late-term abortions in his State of the Union speech, McConnell may be bringing the 20-week ban up for a vote as early as February 24. Although the media would never let on, the idea of limiting abortion to the first trimester is an overwhelmingly popular idea (everywhere, it seems, but Democratic headquarters). Sixty-percent of Americans, Gallup found, want to limit abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This bill is even less restrictive — outlawing it when science says that babies can feel the excruciating pain of their execution.
The good news is, voters are about to see where Democrats stand on two very fundamental bills. The bad news is, we can already know what it will be. Contact your senators and urge them to vote yes on born-alive and pain capable protections!
Originally published here.
An Equal Sequel? House Tries ERA Reboot
It’s not every day that Ruth Bader Ginsburg says something conservatives agree with. So when the 86-year-old Supreme Court justice told a group of Georgetown law students that she thinks the Left’s Equal Rights Amendment is dead, people noticed.
“I would like to see a new beginning,” Ginsburg told a moderator at an event at Georgetown University’s law school. “I’d like to start over,” she explained on the 1970s-era policy Democrats are resurrecting. For years, liberals have dreamed about raising the policy from the dead after it flamed out in the 1980s, just short of the states it needed to be ratified. The deadline for hitting the threshold came and went, but that doesn’t mean activists have given up. Ginsburg thinks they should — at least on this try. “There’s too much controversy about latecomers,” said Ginsburg. “Plus, a number of states have withdrawn their ratification. So, if you count a latecomer on the plus side, how can you disregard states that said, ‘We’ve changed our minds?’”
But thanks to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), nothing is off the table in the radical new House — not even something as antiquated as the ERA. Thirty-eight years after the resolution officially expired, Democrats voted to ignore the deadline and reopen the debate. “There is no expiration date on equality,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) insisted. But exactly what kind of “equality” is she talking about? As Congressman Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) fired back, “Women’s equality of rights under the law are already recognized in our Constitution in the 5th and 14th amendment.”
So what are liberals up to? If women already have the rights feminists were fighting for, why this sudden interest in the ERA? The answer is as simple as it is terrifying: abortion. “An ERA — properly interpreted,” the National Organization for Women argues, “would negate the hundreds of laws that have been passed restricting access to abortion care and contraception.” Lesko sounded that alarm this week on the House floor. “This bill is unconstitutional, [it’s] unnecessary, and the ERA, if ratified, would be used by pro-abortion groups to undo pro-life laws.”
We don’t have to imagine it, she says. It’s already happened. In states like New Mexico, the courts have ruled that taxpayers are required to fund abortion based on the ERA. “Everyone knows, this renewed effort isn’t about women’s rights,” Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) insisted. “It’s about eliminating federal and state life protections and ushering in an era of taxpayer funding of abortion.”
Conservatives like Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) and Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) also tried to drive that point home. Not to mention, Foxx explained, that a massive expansion of abortion isn’t the only danger of the ERA. This policy, she argues, also goes to the heart of our country’s current gender debate. If the word “sex” is used the way liberals intend, it would have devastating effects on every debate where “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” are concerned. “It would have a harmful impact on shelters that protect women from violence, eliminate [female-]specific workplace protections, and destroy women’s sports.” This is, in almost every aspect, the crowd jewel of social liberalism.
And while the House sent its resolution to the Senate on a 232-183 vote, it would take a supermajority of states and a very determined Left to pass the ERA. But, as we’ve seen from the new Democrat party, never say never.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.