Rep. Mike Johnson, who along with Clay Higgins is Louisiana’s newest House delegation member, was on KEEL-AM radio in Shreveport this morning to discuss the budget that passed this afternoon with a large number of Democrat votes.
The budget doesn’t fund the border wall, but it does fund Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities, as well as Obama’s amnesty, free money for garbage solar and wind energy projects and a number of other things. Johnson voted against it along with the majority of Louisiana’s delegation.
And before he cast that vote, Johnson gave some pretty spicy commentary about the GOP leadership and Speaker Paul Ryan, who he did not reference by name, and their performance in bringing this budget.
The defense, of course, is that this is what could pass when the Democrats insisted on filibustering any budget they didn’t like in the Senate, raising the specter of a government shutdown.
But while Johnson didn’t talk about that question, we think he might agree with us in that it’s past time for Republicans to get over their fear of a government shutdown. You control the House, Senate and White House. You set the terms of a shutdown, just like you set the terms of the budget process. You are in control of who wins and who loses in the event of a shutdown and you have the leverage you need to force the Democrats to heel amid such a fight.
All the Social Security checks can still go out amid a shutdown. The mail can still be delivered. The military will still be paid. You can shut down government bureaucracies you’d rather not see operate anyway, and watch the Democrats lose their minds over the absence of those agencies. You can kill all of the programs you don’t like amid the shutdown, and watch the public shrug their shoulders because nobody really cares anyway.
A government shutdown when Obama is your opponent and is willing to make you hurt is one thing – that’s a tough negotiation to win. This? This is easy.
What’s so dispiriting about the budget incompetence of the Republicans is their inability or unwillingness, or both, to use raw political power when it is given to them. It’s unacceptable. The fact Ryan and Mitch McConnell are so reticent to roll up their sleeves and use the legal and constitutional powers they’ve been given to serve their own ideological and philosophical ends – and those of the Americans who elected them – is perhaps a reason neither should be running Congress.
Perhaps it’s time to give someone like Mike Johnson, who hasn’t been ruined by the corruption of the Washington power structure, an opportunity to make some real changes atop the House leadership.