Weekly Compass: Trump wins shutdown, Common Core dies, spending fights ahead

CPI Staff — Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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Here are the top stories conservatives are following this week:

What’s Really Happening

Trump wins shutdown, Liberals in disarray, GOP still open to bad amnesty deal?

After a short-lived weekend government shutdown over amnesty, Democrats caved to public pressure and gave in to Trump demands for a short term spending bill with CHIP extension and no concessions on amnesty. Liberals are livid and the Democrat base is dividing between their left wing activists and members from states won by Trump. Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is trumpeting a promise by GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to hold a vote on DACA legislation in the next three weeks. Yet, Congressional procedure experts have pointed out, Senators could have forced a vote on a DACA bill without an agreement, so the guarantee is meaningless.

That is unless GOP waste this momentum and agrees to a weak DACA amnesty deal close to what has been proposed by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) & Jeff Flake (R-AZ). The White House issued a blistering attack on the Graham/Flake amnesty proposal saying it would “cripple border security and expand chain migration.” However, some Republicans have joined with Flake and Graham and Democratsin an attempt to strike a deal outside of conservative concerns.

Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz says this is a critical moment for GOP leadership:

“McConnell] should start by becoming a warrior for his party’s platform and the president’s agenda, the same way Chuck Schumer is for his party… Rather than offer an open-ended debate on “DACA,” he should introduce the Goodlatte immigration bill. This is the consensus bill from the two House committee chairs with relevant jurisdiction over immigration and even (much to the chagrin of some of us) contains a minimal amnesty for about 700,000 illegals.

Yes, he can offer an open amendment process, but he should introduce the base bill as the one supported by conservatives and he should whip support for it. He should be relentlessly focused on criminal aliens, sanctuary cities, chain migration, and the fiscal drain of welfare for immigrants and drive home those points as majority leader the same way Schumer and Durbin drive home their points for illegal aliens…

Then he should move on to defunding Planned Parenthood, ripping up Dodd-Frankpassing the REINS Act, and repealing Obamacare. Watch the polling change dramatically both on the issues and on party control if he chooses to act decisively and actually pass the bills.

Budget blowout ahead?

Economist Steve Moore warns about the coming spending battlepeople may be missing behind the DACA drama:

The budget watchers at FreedomWorks estimate that when hurricane disaster relief, funding for the border wall, added Obamacare money for the bankrupt insurance markets, and other last-minute spending “emergencies” are thrown in the mix, the two-year spending blitz could exceed $300 billion.

President Donald Trump had better get his veto pen handy.

All of this is happening because Republicans have fallen into the Democrats’ fiscal trap. To secure more money for national defense, Democrats are demanding an equal amount of extra funding for domestic social welfare programs. So to get an additional $108 billion for the Pentagon, the Republicans may agree to another $108 billion-plus in ransom money for domestic agencies…

If this deal were to get cut, any pretense of fiscal discipline and debt control would be officially and irrevocably washed away. “Almost no one here on either side of the aisle wants to control spending,” Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky tells me. “It’s sad, but it’s the new reality.”

This is happening when the $4 trillion federal budget is expected to exceed $5 trillion within eight years. The $20.6 trillion debt is already headed to $30 trillion over the next decade — even without this new spending spree.

This would also be a nail in the coffin of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which instituted spending caps and sequester cuts if those caps are exceeded. The BCA caps have worked remarkably well as a deterrent to the very kind of spending blowout that Congress is considering.
Policy Perspectives

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