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.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
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Presidential candidate Donald Trump ran for two years on several key legislative components. The big three were Obamacare repeal, tax-cuts-and-code-reform and a monstrous, massive infrastructure bill.
Full disclosure: I think the latter idea – is absolutely terrible. The states with the roads in them – should themselves take care of the roads in them. I-95 runs north-south Maine-Florida. Why should citizens in the likes of Kansas and Alaska pay for any of it? This states-level approach – leaves The Feds spending zero dollars on infrastructure.
Congress’ majority Republicans had themselves for years and years championed Obamacare repeal. And for decades and decades championed tax-cuts-and-code-reform. And they have always been huge fans of spending hundreds of billions of dollars on infrastructure.
So all of these Trump agenda items – were right up their alley.
So you would think these lawmakers – would have bills in drawers. All ready to go – to be made into law the moment President-elect Trump took the oath.
In fact, House Speaker Paul Ryan just after Trump’s victory – bragged about having exactly that:
“Last week during a CNBC interview, Ryan said 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.”
With Trump running on these three particular legislative items – we reasonably expected Ryan would have ensured these three legislative items all had bills at-the-ready.
Trump certainly did. Which is why he repeatedly said he thought we would be done with all three by the August Congressional recess.
An expectation for which Trump was openly mocked by…Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Who channeled “Animal House’s” Eric Stratton to Trump’s Kent “Flounder” Dorfman:
Well, it’s November. And we’re absolutely nowhere on any of this. It’s been an endless parade of inanity.
After the ten-year build-up and all the mouth-running, this Republican-led Congress – didn’t have an at-the-ready Obamacare repeal bill in a drawer.
So they wasted months drafting…an awful bill. That barely repealed anything. And shuffled what little it did repeal – into their alternative, top-down, government-centric version of Obamacare.
That they then couldn’t pass.
Having passed nothing on Obamacare, Congress than took a so-much-deserved month-plus-long summer break. Vowing to pass tax-cuts-and-code-reform upon their return.
Except we learned upon their return – that they STILL didn’t have an at-the-ready tax-cut-and-code-reform bill in a drawer. So they wasted months more drafting…a fairly awful bill.
Which is a class-warfare-averse mess. “We don’t tax cut the rich” – when the top 1% of taxpayers already pay 38% of federal taxes. When nigh no one in the history of the planet – has ever been hired by a poor person.
Ask small business owners looking to hire and expand – how they feel about rich people having more money to invest. Ask blue collar people building vacation homes, sports cars and yachts – how they feel about rich people having more disposable income.
This nonsense tax bill goes bizarrely out of its way – to ensure Republicans could sell it to Democrats and the Media (please pardon the redundancy). Except the Democrats and the Media – with unanimity – said from the very beginning they would never, ever support it.
At this moment this shadow of a tax reform bill is in the House. Perhaps working its way to a Senate – that almost certainly will not pass it.
And then it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s – and the six-plus weeks of Congressional vacation they take therefor.
Anyone who watches any sports – and many who don’t – has heard the ridiculously overused expression “a sense of urgency.” It is ridiculously overused – because too many people engage in too many things…without any apparent awareness that urgency is required.
Congress is totally devoid of any sense of urgency. They refresh and redefine the cliche.
And a quintessential example thereof?
Behold the House Energy and Commerce’s November 9 hearing – “Perspectives on Mixed Martial Arts.”
Because I know it is of vital Constitutional import – right here and right now – to ensure that each and every member of the “Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection” develop his and her perspective on Mixed Martial Arts.
Except anyone who has ever watched any of these hearings knows – just about all Congressmen skip most or all of most of these vitally important hearings.
Especially on something as vitally important to our Republic – as the The Feds’ developing perspectives on Mixed Martial Arts.
I haven’t felt this level of scintillating excitement – of Congressional and national import – since…the 2007 baseball steroid hearings.
Worst case scenario: This hearing is a tee up of the government massively over-regulating something – about which they have zero Constitutional authority to do anything.
Best case scenario: This is just a titanic waste of Congress’ time.
Except Congress has done nothing in 2017 – except waste Congress’ time.
How about you repeal Obamacare? And pass serious, actual-economy-expanding tax-cuts-and-code-reform? (You can happily skip the infrastructure nightmare mess.)
And skip the recesses. And the breaks. And the four-day weekends.
And the titanically stupid nonsense hearings. Like “Perspectives on Mixed Martial Arts.”
You have better, actually important things to do.
Things, in fact, that should have already been done – a LONG time ago.
[Originally Published at RedState]