Friday, November 5, 2010

What I Want the House Republicans To Do

The House GOP received a mandate from the voters to try to bring America back on the right track, after Pelosi, Reid and Obama tried to derail it for the past 4 years. They're in a very delicate position, because if they don't deliver, the Republicans won't recapture the White House and the Senate in 2012. And if they stray again, they'll be back where they were a few months ago.

Now it's obvious that they won't succeed in passing any remedial legislation. Nothing would go past the Senate or past Obama's veto. The best thing right now is the gridlock - meaning no more damaging legislation is going to pass, and the uncertainty about the future may be gone. But the challenge for the GOP is to prove they're not the "party of no" and never were, and try to lead from the House. So here is what I'd like them to do (in approximate order):

1. As soon as the new Congress reconvenes, move to extend the Bush tax cuts all across the board, including middle class, job creators, capital gains and estate taxes. It's possible that some of these will be extended by the current Congress, but there should be no compromise and the House should move to extend all of them. If the Senate or Obama refuse it, they should clearly explain how raises those taxes will be damaging for our economy.

2. Repeal and replace the healthcare bill. Of course it has to be repealed, but if they do only that, it will fuel the calls for the GOP being the party of no. They must present an alternative bill, as short as possible, in a very clear format for the voters. It should include all the common sense proposals, like tort reform, reducing the mandates, allowing interstate purchase of insurance, provide the same tax deductions for individuals that employers have, replace Medicaid spending with vouchers and so on.

3. For any damaging, anti-business bill that would originate in the Senate, offer an alternative, free market bill in the House. They'll never be reconciled, but the voters will be able to see the two options and make a decision for themselves.

4. Before next fall, offer a viable budget with minimal deficits. We've heard the Pledge to America, Jack Ryan's alternative budget last year, now it's time to deliver in real terms. I think the 2012 GOP races will depend on the budget proposal. After years of escalating spending n their own watch, it's time for the Republicans to get back to fiscal conservatism - and offer a real solution.

It's not that hard. Of course, it's not easy, but that's their only job right now. As you know, I don't call myself a Republican, but a conservative, and I'll never hesitate to call them on every mistake!

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