Movement conservatives cheered when John Boehner announced on Sept. 25 that he would resign as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 30. They cheered again on Oct. 8 when Boehner’s deputy, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, announced he would not seek to replace Boehner.
Movement conservatives cheered Boehner’s departure and McCarthy’s decision because they have regarded the two men as part of the problem in American government rather than part of the solution since shortly after the Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2010 elections. In the 2010 election, Republicans gained 63 seats — the most they have gained since 1938.
As of January, 2011, the Republicans had a 242-193 edge in the U.S. House — and a mandate to reverse the decisions made by President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress in 2009 and 2010. It was obvious at that point that the American people realized that the Democrats could not be trusted to fix the moribund U.S. economy and Americans favored lower taxes, less government spending, and less regulation of businesses, including a repeal of the disastrous Obama health care program that became law despite the public’s overwhelming opposition.
Unfortunately, Boehner and McCarthy governed like statists. If they were governed like movement conservatives, they would have mobilized conservatives to pass bills that dramatically reduced taxes, spending, and regulations and refuse to fund the government unless the Democrats made major concessions. They didn’t. Their incessant compromising with Democrats was infuriating. Their excuses and compromises became less justifiable when movement conservatives triumphed again in the 2014 Congressional elections. Republicans now control the House and the Senate.
How many bills has Obama vetoed since the Republicans took over? In seven years, he has vetoed eight bills, the fewest by a president since Warren Harding vetoed six bills while he was president from 1921 to 1923. Ronald Reagan vetoed 78.
The bottom line is that conservatives need strong leadership to reverse the damage that Obama did in 2009 and 2010 and Boehner and McCarthy proved they were establishment conservatives with few leadership skills. Conservatives need to challenge Obama to veto bills or force HIM to make the concessions that so-called conservatives keep making.
Paul Ryan Hasn’t Proved He’s The Solution
After Boehner resigned as the Speaker of the House and McCarthy dropped out of the race to succeed him, partly because movement conservatives made it clear that they would not support him, Paul Ryan emerged as the favorite to be the next Speaker.
Movement conservatives were more supportive of Ryan, 45, than Boehner and McCarthy, but many of them were skeptical of him from the start. His record, to be polite, is mixed.
It’s true that Ryan as the chairman of the House Budget Committee from 2011 to 2015 regularly proposed budgets that called for reforming this nation’s unfortunate entitlement system, particularly the Medicare program, and reduced taxes. It’s also true that he was an effective advocate of conservative principles as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick during the 2012 presidential campaign.
Unfortunately, it’s also true that when push comes to shove Ryan has been way, way…………..too willing to compromise with Obama and the Democrats. In 2013, for instance, he approved what the U.S. News & World Report called the “Ryan-Murray plan.” That’s “Murray” as in ultraliberal Democratic senator Patty Murray. Ryan then used his influence to persuade enough Republicans to vote for the deal. That deal is now law.
As the chart in the article shows, the Ryan and Murray deal increased government spending from $3.5 trillion in 2013 to close to $6 trillion in 2023. The deal also called for short-term spending hikes that have since been approved and long-term spending cuts that might never be approved.
Since 2013, Ryan has become less of a movement conservative favorite because he has supported immigration reform efforts that would result in more illegal immigrants becoming American citizens and that issue has become THE most important issue among conservatives as Donald Trump’s frontrunner status in the Republican presidential primary proves. This article in the conservative publication The Daily Caller describes Ryan’s position as “very vocal support for legalizing illegal immigrants.”
In addition, Ryan helped Boehner and McCarthy punish conservatives in the House who dissented from leadership policy, supported the bailout of the banks after they caused The Great Recession, supported giving Obama more authority to conclude trade pacts, and has been reticent about talking about social and family values issues that are important to movement conservatives such as abortion, gun rights, religious liberty, and traditional marriage.
Despite the qualms many movement conservatives have about him, the majority of The Freedom Caucus, a group of conservatives in the U.S. House, supported Ryan when he announced he would run for the Speaker of the House position. He was elected the Speaker on Oct. 29. 2015.
Ryan Is Off To A Bad Start
Paul Ryan will probably be the Speaker of the House for the remaining year of this Congress and could be the Speaker of the House for many years after that if Republicans, as we expect and hope, keep winning Congressional elections. He is off to a bad start.
The most important thing that Ryan has done during his first two months as Speaker was conclude a compromise — yes another compromise — with Democrats on spending and taxes. On Dec. 18, Obama signed a bill that Congress approved, in part because of Ryan’s efforts, that included $1.1 trillion in spending. Conservatives blasted the new law. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised it.
“Paul Ryan Betrays America” said the headline on this article in the conservative Breitbart News Network. Authors Stephen K. Bannon and Julia Hahn detail how the bill funds the “transformation of America” via pro-immigration measures. Among other things, the bill funds Obama’s 2012 amnesty program for illegal immigrants who were minors when they came to the USA. So far, Obama’s support for so-called Dreamers has resulted in about 700,000 illegal aliens getting work permits and funds from entitlement programs.
The article also points out that the bill funds sanctuary cities, a refugee resettlement program that will admit “tens of thousands of refugees” into the USA, and Mideast immigration programs that terrorists have exploited, while allocating zero money for a border fence and quadrupling the number of foreign worker visas. Ryan’s work is a “complete sellout of the American people” write Bannon and Hahn.
Pelosi told USA Today in this article that the new law was a major victory for Democrats. She said that Ryan agreed to a law that continued to fund Planned Parenthood, continued to allow Syrian refugees to come into the USA, supported Obama’s efforts to block construction on land he deems environmentally sensitive, and supported anti-gun rights rules. In exchange, she said, Democrats supported Ryan’s objective of lifting the ban on oil exports. The law also continues to fund Obamacare.
“I feel almost jubilant about what is in this appropriations bill,” she said.
Movement conservatives can’t possibly be happy that Ryan — whose father-in-law Dan Little’s business markets mineral rights to oil and gas producers — has made helping the oil industry a priority over defunding Planned Parenthood and protecting the nation from dangerous immigrants. This article reports that Ryan and his wife earn tens of thousands of dollars annually from Little’s business.
Paul Ryan needs to prove he is a movement conservative soon or else conservatives will turn on him in 2016.
Hopefully he can make some progress with his recent attempt to defund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.