Courage Time in the House of Representatives: Part Two

Recently this column suggested that the House of Representatives, now in Republican hands, should refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless certain conditions are met, to wit: that the president and vice president resign because of the scandalous behavior of the FBI in suppressing information about the Hunter Biden laptop—behavior that enabled their election. 

That was thought by the squeamish to be a bridge too far. 

Maybe. But the same quid pro quo strategy can be applied, serially, to other less-apocalyptic measures. 

People say the country will collapse if we don’t raise the debt ceiling. But what does that mean? 

Millions of bureaucrats will fail to show up and not do the work they don’t do when they do show up? Will Rogers said we should be glad we don’t get all the government we pay for. 

The founders made Congress the first branch for a reason. As Willmoore Kendall and George Carey argue so well in The Basic Symbols of the American Political Tradition, with regard to financial issues, the founders gave Congress and the House specifically, “all of the ultimate weapons in any showdown with either of the other two branches.” So this Republican House should make it showdown time. 

It’s not exactly clear when the debt ceiling will be reached—but it will be sometime this year—and when it has, the Republican House should demand major concessions from the current far-Left administration. Every week! If there are squeamish “moderate” Republicans who won’t go along, their offices should be moved to the basement, and they should face primary challenges. 

Week one: Put an end to the transgender nonsense. It’s the first item because the transgender business is not just about sex. It’s about truth. If the woke Left can get you to deny that there are only two sexes, they can get you to believe in and do almost anything. The federal government must stop letting males who are pretending to be females compete in girls and women’s sports. That is beyond outrageous—and ridiculous—and yet is it promoted by the Biden Administration. It must stop immediately. 

In addition, Congress should make it a federal crime to administer a “puberty-blocking” drug or to perform “sex reassignment” or “gender confirming” surgery on any person under the age of 18. And the statute of limitation for any person administering such a drug or performing such surgery on a person over the age of 18, or for any person assisting in administering such drugs or performing such surgeries, shall be 35 years. Otherwise, no debt ceiling increase. 

Week two: Expand parental choice in education so children can escape the miserable public schools run by the Democratic Party’s Siamese twin, the National Educational Association. Everyone knows that Democrats want to keep the public—especially blacks—ignorant so they will continue to vote Democrat. That’s why they like the plantation public schools. No expansion of parental choice? No debt ceiling increase.

Week three: Colleges and universities are the breeding ground of almost every wicked, woke, and destructive idea that infects America. Financial aid to all of them should be cut in half and no additional federal loans to students—a program that exceeds $150 billion a year—should be made. Otherwise, no debt ceiling increase.

Week four: The southern U.S. border must be secured. The administration should be put on notice of this condition in time for it to start building a wall and sealing the border. During the Biden Administration, 5 million illegals have invaded the United States, bringing drugs and crime. This has not been a coincidence; it has not happened because the Biden Administration wasn’t paying attention. It has been their deliberate policy to flood the country with prospective Democratic voters. It has to stop. 

Administration officials and their allies in the media may say that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we won’t (in the ensuing chaos) have a country. But if we don’t stop the invasion of illegals, we won’t have a country either. No change in policy? No debt ceiling increase.

Week five: The Republicans should demand that all traces of woke ideology be eliminated from the military. West Point has had lectures titled “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage” and classroom slides labeled “White Power at West Point.” As Thomas Spoehr has pointed out, by emphasizing differences based on race, ethnicity, and sex, wokeness undermines cohesiveness. By introducing questions about whether promotion is based on merit or quota requirements, wokeness undermines leadership authority. All that must go. Otherwise, no debt ceiling increase.

Week six: Legislation providing for the hiring of 87,000 IRS agents must be repealed. The law requiring the hiring of the agents is a reprise of the Lois Lerner attack on conservative organizations during the Obama Administration, this time aimed at small business owners, who are the backbone of the country—and often of the local Republican party. The Republicans have already introduced such legislation. Now they have to inform the White House: No repeal, no debt ceiling increase.

Week seven: Start making America energy independent again. Biden’s plan to buy oil from Venezuela is straight out of a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. Republicans must insist that the administration authorize the construction of the Keystone pipeline and stop harassing energy companies. That will provide energy for America and jobs for Americans. In addition, eliminate all subsidies to green energy projects. They are just money pit boondoggles for political cronies. The United States needs a pro-energy policy to make it energy independent once again. No pro-energy policy, no debt ceiling increase.

That’s seven weeks of work. On the eighth week, the Republican House of Representatives can rest from its labor (following, more or less, the example of their maker). But then they can start again. There is much to be done.

Surely, no one of those items is worth having the United States default on its financial obligations—except that, for the Left, the activities to be prohibited are the essence of their politics. Their goal is to remake America into Amerika, in which the elites keep down the masses (by destroying the economy and the middle class), thereby creating a left-wing, socialist, godless country.

The Republicans now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stop them and remake America—and not just remake it, but to strengthen its very soul.

It’s courage time.

About Daniel Oliver

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was executive editor and subsequently chairman of the board of William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review. Email him at Daniel.Oliver@TheCandidAmerican.com.

Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

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