USA Today columnist Glenn Reynolds has a point; Why aren’t bills on infrastructure, tax reform and free speech lined up like planes on a runway? Excerpt:
Talking to a friend at lunch not long ago, he expressed his amazement that the House and Senate leadership didn’t have bills “lined up like airplanes on a runway” ready to take off in the new year. I was surprised, too.
It’s not like the need to do something about Obamacare was a surprise. Republicans have been promising to repeal it for most of a decade. And it’s not like Obamacare was popular or successful. Premiums are rising, providers are dropping out, and costs are going up. It’s true that the Obamacare bill, pushed through on a procedural technicality that avoided a filibuster but left it impossible to fix at the time, was a mess. It’s also true that the legislation was drafted, and the regulations implementing it were designed, in part to make it hard to undo.
Nonetheless, the Republican inability to deliver a bill that could get a majority in the GOP-led House is a colossal failure, and pretty much undercuts its entire reason for being. For years the congressional GOP leadership failed to deliver on promises to constituents, and offered the excuse that it couldn’t do anything without control of the White House. Well, they’ve got that, so what’s their excuse now? And where are the bills on infrastructure, on tax reform, on free speech?
The congressional GOP’s failure to deliver on its promises is one of the things that led to the election of President Trump. Now they’re still failing. What comes next?
What next, indeed? The GOP had eight years – eight friggin’ years – to get ready for this opportunity. A political pundit with the skills of, oh, say, Rachel Maddow, should have seen this moment coming; they GOP has held the House and Senate for a while now, and it’s a rare thing in the American political scene for a party to hold the Imperial Mansion for three terms. They should have had a plan.
Maybe it’s the years I spent associated with the military that make me frustrated about this. A few years back some leftie croaker was told that the Pentagon has file drawers full of plans for an invasion of Iran, to which the rational response was “of course they do! That’s their damn job! They probably have plans somewhere to invade Canada.”
We have a failed health care bill. We have no infrastructure bill. We have no tax reform bill. We do have some minor legislation in the works, and we have a concealed-carry reciprocity bill… somewhere.
But seriously, folks. This stuff should have been lined up ready to go on Day One. All Speaker Ryan should have had to do was slam down the gavel and yell “Go!”
There’s an old saw that goes “I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Republican.” Never has that been more true than now.