Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
I live on a small lake in the Texas Hill Country. I have a paddle boat that I use to take my amazing grandsons out on the lake. When the paddle boat is not in the water, I take the rudder off and stow it in the boat’s compartment. Sometimes guests using the paddle boat when I am not there don’t attach the rudder. Without the rudder, they can paddle as hard as they can and aim in a specific direction only to go round and round in circles, never getting closer to their objective.
That perfectly describes the current situation in Washington, DC.
The House Republicans, in order to mollify their energized base by fulfilling 6 or 7 years of campaign promises (that they knew were unrealistic as long as President Obama had a veto pen) and a major campaign promise of President Trump, rushed to bring to the floor in 17 days a “repeal and replace” bill that their own caucus could not unite behind. President Trump and the White House were, from all appearances, not leading, or even involved, in this crafting of this bill; the President, post debacle, even said that tax reform, not repeal and replace, was his first priority. After the vote was cancelled the second time, the President said he was going to let Obamacare crater on its own and move on to tax reform. (See “And the Big “Loser Is” post from 03-27- 2017).
Not so fast, says Speaker Ryan. We are going to resurrect and change repeal and replace NOW instead of moving on to tax reform. Whose agenda is being honored?
Another major campaign promise of both the House Republicans and the President was to “Build a Wall”.The President’s “skinny” budget called for several billions of dollars for construction of the wall. Senate Republicans, recognizing the budget realities, responded with “Not this year (2018). Maybe next year.”
And the attempt to enact restrictions on refugees from 6 predominantly Muslim countries by Executive Order remains tied up in the courts.
Fortunately, all is not gloom and doom. By Executive Order and legislation, many of the more onerous Obama Executive Orders and regulations put into effect during his administration are being rolled back. The low-hanging fruit is being picked rapidly.
So, the House Republicans and the White House are in the paddle boat, paddling madly and creating waves but not making substantial progress towards the promised land. And the loyal opposition, the Democrats, sit on the bank and laugh.
Look for the rudder, Paul.