Cross-posted from Campaign For America's Future
A Politico story being promoted by the Drudge Report, "McConnell's plan to shut down Obama," makes it clear that if Republicans capture the Senate this fall they will, as the Drudge Report puts it, "play chicken" and shut down the government if President Obama vetoes their legislation to dismantle the government.
From the Politico interview, a threat,
"We're going to pass spending bills, and they're going to have a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy," McConnell said in an interview aboard his campaign bus traveling through Western Kentucky coal country. "That's something he won't like, but that will be done. I guarantee it."
Who does McConnell say would be to blame if the President vetoes bills and Republicans then shut down the government rather than compromise? "McConnell said it would be up to the president to decide whether to veto spending bills that would keep the government open." (In a related story this week, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) blamed the United States for making them behead an American journalist.)
Dismantle Or Shut Down
Republicans say that if they take the Senate they will pass legislation to dismantle the government. Jim Manley, former aide to Sen. Harry Reid explained in April at the WSJ, "It is very difficult to imagine that House Republicans' takeaway from such an election would be to search again for moderation."
Republicans can be expected to:
- End the filibuster or use other tactics so Democrats can't block their agenda. If they don't just end the filibuster, Politico reports, "In a private meeting before the summer recess, Republicans discussed using the procedural tool known as budget 'reconciliation' to make it easier to pass legislation by avoiding filibusters."
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- Repeal or defund Obamacare. Sam Baker, at the National Journal, writes "The ultimate goal is to fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with commonsense proposals that solve the cost problem. But recognizing that Obama will be president for the next three years, we will use every lever we can in the meantime to lay the groundwork for its repeal, a senior GOP aide said."
- Cut Medicare and Social Security. From Politico: "... means testing to limit Medicare benefits for wealthier families and overhauling how inflation is calculated to reduce cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients."
- Push approval of the Keystone Pipeline and lift restrictions on exporting American oil in order to raise US oil prices. The Keystone Pipeline would move Canadian tar sands oil to US ports so it can be sold to China instead of in American markets. Restrictions on exporting US oil are also holding prices down in US markets. The Christian Science Monitor explains: "Keystone XL is only the beginning," according to Mr. Ebinger. 'It's the same kind of debate we're having on lifting the ban on crude oil exports,' Ebinger says."
- Restrict the Environmental Protection Agency. The Hill reports: "Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.) ... said his 'No. 1' goal is to 'end the war on fossil fuels. When Republicans are in the majority, not if.' Inhofe said, he will also 'immediately attack the overregulation of the EPA.' Bloomberg News reports: "A House-passed bill to curtail the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants 'is a top priority' for Republicans if they gain control of the Senate in the fall elections, a House Republican said April 10."
- Dismantle other agencies. Al Hunt writes: "Regulatory agencies the party doesn't like -- a long list that includes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency -- could turn into toothless watchdogs with slashed budgets."
- Block all nominees to every position: Norm Ornstein, writing at the Atlantic: "A Republican Senate would undoubtedly stop confirmation on virtually all Obama-nominated judges, and probably on most of his executive nominees." Conservative Hugh Hewitt, writing at Townhall confirms: "McConnell could and I hope does immediately bring an end to all judicial confirmation proceedings --at every level-- for the next two years."