One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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President Donald Trump has wasted no time. He is rapidly fast-tracking the agenda which won him the office. He ran on tightening immigration – he is doing what he alone can do to tighten immigration. He ran on ending Obamacare – he is doing what he alone can do to end Obamacare.
And Trump ran on slashing regulations – and he is doing what he alone can do to slash regulations. Trump says his ultimate objective is to cut regulations by “75% or more.” Given his actions thus far – doubters should be becoming greater in their scarcity.
Where has the Republican-majority Congress been during all of this Executive Branch action? Internet entrepreneur Matt Drudge rarely personally Tweets – but just did so to unleash a bracing-yet-realistic assessment of their performance thus far in the Trump Era.
Some obvious stipulations, of course (which Drudge knows – but cannot fit into 140 characters). Trump is the Executive – he can act on his own. Congress is a gaggle – legislative and deliberative. That being said – on what are they waiting? Trump isn’t moving at the speed of government – why still is Congress?
As Drudge said, under Trump’s predecessor Republicans repeatedly, futilely voted to repeal Obamacare. Without any concurrent replacement, it should be noted. Now – nothing. (They have run against Obamacare non-stop since its passage – yet now STILL don’t have an agreed-upon replacement. What have they been doing?)
The Republicans are the Party of tax cuts. They couldn’t get any passed under Trump’s predecessor. But Trump ran on cutting taxes big league – and he won. He announced his tax cut plan in September – of 2015. For what has Congress been waiting? Differences between Trump’s plan and Congress’ plan (we are told they have long had one) should have been reconciled – immediately after Trump secured the nomination. At which point Trump and the Republicans could have run together on a totally united tax cut front.
On CNBC in December, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan bragged that “at the end of 2015 he had…told his Committee Chairman to spend 2016 writing full-on, ready-to-go reform bills. Preparing as if the Republicans would in 2017 control both houses of Congress and the White House.”
Where are these bills? Why aren’t there rapid-fire votes on them – running them through to Trump for signatures? What is Congress doing?
The excuses are endless. Again, now suddenly we need to not just repeal Obamacare – but simultaneously replace it. Even though, again, Republicans never said that was necessary when serially repealing under its namesake. (And again, you’ve had six-plus years to draft a replacement – where the heck is it?)
Why, still, haven’t Trump’s and the Republicans’ respective tax cut plans been harmonized – and the result voted upon? Republicans may not have liked Trump the nominee – but now he’s Trump the President. A President who wants to “massively” cut taxes. For what are they waiting?
For what is Congress waiting? They are contemplating keeping in place the Durbin Amendment thereto.
Hey Republicans: Anything named after uber-Left Illinois Democrat Senator Dick Durbin – should be giving you a rash and breaking you out in hives. You should – just on principle and for a return to good skin health – be dying to repeal whatever it is.
And the Durbin Amendment is much more toxic than just topically: “‘(P)assed as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation in 2010, (it) required the Federal Reserve to limit fees charged to retailers for debit card processing.’ Oh excellent – price controls. Because they always work out SO well: ‘Complex price controls invite gaming of the system….’”
Gaming the system, you say? You bet.
Durbin Amendment Rewards Retailers $36 Billion in Additional Profits, But Provides No Relief to Consumers: “(A) recent December 2015 Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond study…notes that few merchants are found to reduce prices or debit restrictions as debit costs decrease. In another survey 92% of the nearly 2000 consumers questioned reported that prices rose or stayed the same over the previous year.”
Pathetically predictable: “(T)he Durbin Amendment is government forcing us – to hand tens of billions of dollars to the likes of Gucci, Macy’s and Saks. Big companies gaming the system – We the Little People paying the price.”
So why on Earth are Republicans contemplating keeping the Durbin Amendment? Perhaps…
Not very “drain the swamp” of you, Ladies and Gentlemen.
All of awful Dodd-Frank – including the awful Durbin Amendment – needs to go.
Trump is anxiously awaiting – to sign said repeal.
For what is Congress waiting?
[Originally Published at RedState]