Conservative Leaders Challenge GOP Congress - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Conservative Leaders Challenge GOP Congress

The American people spoke loud and clear: stop Obama. Period. What they delivered Tuesday night was an unmitigated defeat for liberalism. They want Obamacare repealed, the economy unchained, and amnesty opposed. Among other things.

Yet with planted news stories from GOP establishment operatives in both the Washington Post and the New York Times the idea was being spread that this overwhelming rejection of liberals was in fact a victory for the very ruling class mindset that was explicitly campaigned against by all those Republican winners.

If there’s any doubt about what was being promised on the campaign trail, the Conservative Action Project — a group of forty prominent conservative leaders headed by former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese III and former Indiana Congressman David McIntosh — has documented it in detail. In a pointed statement issued yesterday, the group reports:

The American people sent an unmistakable message to Washington: Voters expect Republicans in Congress to listen and fight for the conservative agenda they ran on.

• Every single newly elected Republican Senator ran on the full repeal of Obamacare. In most competitive races it was the top issue. Over 40,000 ads against Obamacare were run on behalf of winning candidates. The Republican House and Senate must now keep those campaign promises and use reconciliation to send a bill repealing Obamacare to the President.

• All but one of the newly elected Republican Senators ran a strong campaign in favor of securing the border and opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants.

• Every single newly elected Republican Senator ran in support of an agenda for hard-working middle class Americans that reduces spending, lowers taxes, and balances the budget-not in support of corporate welfare, bloated government spending bills, and endless debt-ceiling increases.

• Far from downplaying social issues, every newly elected Republican Senator is pro-life and supports legislation that would protect unborn life after five months of pregnancy. The liberal candidates who painted pro-life candidates as engaged in a “War on Women” were routinely criticized and defeated.

Simply put, successful candidates ran as conservatives and won.

Yet no later than the day after the election did soon-to-be Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announce that “there will be no government shutdown and no default on the national debt.” In other words, the very first thing McConnell did was take one of Republicans most potent weapons — the power of the purse — off the table.

The CAP report continued:

The election is over. Now, it is time for our newly elected Congress to do what they told us they were going to do. Conservative policies help people. They will begin to restore our nation.

And while each of our organizations will work toward various elements of this agenda, as a conservative movement we call on the new Republican Congress to enact: 

• A pro-growth agenda for hard-working middle class Americans that balances the budget in 10 years or less without raising taxes, starts over with a tax code that actually works for American families and businesses, ends regulations that increase red-tape and hurt job creation, and makes Congress accurately account for the bills they pass.

• Fully repealing Obamacare, using congressional authority to halt and expose it, and starting over with real health care reform that respects patients and doctors.

• Passing common-sense and compassionate legislation that protects innocent unborn human life after five months of pregnancy.

• Upholding the rule of law and Constitution by restoring the power of the states and ending the lawlessness of the Obama Administration and rogue agencies like the IRS.

• Safeguarding our freedoms by ending the assaults on our religious liberty like those we now see in Obamacare, our military, against faith in the public square, and against those who support natural marriage.

• A defense budget adequate to meet current and future threats to the country, including the threat from Islamists, non-state actors, and sovereign states.

• Securing the border and ending attempts to grant amnesty to people who break our laws.

• Expanding American energy through innovation and the market, not government regulation and cronyism

Now is the time for Republicans in Congress to earn the trust that the American people have placed in them.

Notably — or is that ominously for the new GOP Senate? — the conservative leaders signing this statement, in addition to Meese and McIntosh, included Brent Bozell, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Mike Needham of Heritage Action, talk radio’s Mark Levin, Red State’s Erick Erickson, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, and David Bossie of Citizens United. In other words, an A-List of conservative leaders — all of whom pulled together to make sure a GOP Senate was elected.

Now? Now the question is whether or not those new GOP Senators will buck the Washington establishment that is already seeking to undermine their credibility. Or whether they will stick by the promises made in those 40,000 ads run against Obamacare on their collective behalf. Not to mention the rest of their promises on everything from that pro-growth agenda to securing the border and opposing amnesty.

And if that doesn’t happen? Conservative enthusiasm for preventing another Senate flip — this one to Democrats in 2016 — could prove minimal. Not to mention fatal to GOP control.

The campaign is over. The time for conservative results — promised conservative results — is at hand. Will the GOP deliver?

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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