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Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY): “My donors told me to pass the tax bill or don’t ever call me again”

Requiem For The All GOP Government

The spineless, supine GOP majority is going out in a blaze of gross incompetence. As things stand at the time of writing this column, the House Republicans supported another government shutdown when they voted on December 20 to fund Trump’s idiotic wall with Mexico with taxpayer dollars. Trump had promised numerous times in 2016 that Mexico would pay for the wall.

Before the House voted to shutdown the government, the Senate had passed by voice vote a bill to keep the government open until February. The Senate resolution was expected to easily pass in the House. Trump initially signaled he would sign that continuing resolution into law.

After Trump made that promise, his base revolted. The likes of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity accused Individual 1 of a sellout and demanded a government shutdown. Trump then flip flopped and said he would shutdown the government over his border wall. As a consequence, we now have government shutdown brought to you by the right wing media that controls the GOP.

That in a nutshell tells you how the Republicans have governed in D.C. the last two years. All they have cared about was the GOP base voters and the GOP donor class. They have ignored the will of the American people and passed unpopular and harmful policies since January 20, 2017.

The so-called “landmark accomplishment” of Trump and the GOP was the passage of the 2017 tax bill. This legislation confers 80% of the benefits on the top 1%. The tax cuts for the rich are permanent. In contrast, the middle class tax cuts are temporary and tiny.

At the same time, the tax bill blew up the deficit and returned us to the days of annual $1 trillion deficits. Those deficits will be $2 trillion when we have a recession. These exploding deficits have forced the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates to convince investors to purchase the debt necessary to fund this irresponsible tax bill. Those interest rate increases (and Trump’s trade war) have destabilized the stock market.

The other so-called significant “accomplishment” of our all GOP government was the confirmation of two right wing justices to the Supreme Court. The legitimacy of those confirmations is in question. Gorsuch took the stolen Garland seat and Kavanaugh repeatedly committed perjury at his confirmation hearings. These two justices are expected to side with the top 1% over labor and consumers. Moreover, they will most likely roll back women’s health care rights.

Another so-called “accomplishment” that largely flew under the radar screen was a bill that gutted the 2010 Dodd-Frank bill and increased the risk of another financial crisis. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the risk of a financial crisis and subsequent bank bailouts, would be greater under the legislation. Senator Elizabeth Warren said: “That’s staggeringly dangerous for the American economy.”

On the other hand, the all GOP government did nothing to reduce health care costs, expand health care, increase wages or fund infrastructure. The former TV reality entertainer broke every populist promise he made during the 2016 campaign. This was a president and Congress that was a government of, for and by the wealthy and the special interests. It was the best Congress money could buy.

Fortunately, the House will now switch to Democratic control in January 2019. We will finally have a check and balance on an out of control GOP. We will need to be patient with the Democrats in the House. Any legislation they pass will be DOA in the Senate. McConnell will not allow an up or down vote on health care reform, a higher minimum wage, voting rights reform and campaign finance reform. Pelosi and the House Democrats do need to pass positive legislation to send a message to voters about how we will govern when we are returned to power.

At the same time, the House Democrats need to conduct thorough and responsible investigations of Individual 1’s incompetence and corruption. It is highly ironic to hear the likes of GOP leaders like Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy pleading for Democrats not to investigate Trump. These were the same people who wasted a lot of time and money on endless investigations of phony scandals like Benghazi. Moreover, they must know that the revelations of Trump’s incompetence and corruption revealed at these hearings will badly damage Trump and the Republican members of Congress who have been protecting him over the last two years.

I believe that November 6, 2018 will forever be remembered as a turning point for the country. This was the first step towards taking our country back from a corrupt and incompetent minority faction. As Winston Churchill said after the British victory at the battle of El Alamein in 1942: “ Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Let us dedicate ourselves to victory in 2020. It is within our grasp. Let’s keep up the good fight and never take a day off from the struggle. We can do it! Let’s get it done!

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.

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