Sixteen business days have passed since that first gavel. Because those 16 days may foreshadow coming events, it is worth noting what Congress has done, so far. You should think of this article as an early report card.
Let’s look at the results from the first 16 business days in January.
The first order of business was to elect the leaders of the House and Senate. The same four from the 113th Congress were returned to office: John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid. You can expect the same leaders to produce the same results. A bad start.
Mitch McConnell, the new Majority Leader of the Senate, ran for re-election opposing Obamacare and amnesty. But, once elected to the powerful office of Majority Leader, he announced that he was powerless to do anything about Obamacare or amnesty. Many voters in Kentucky will regret giving him another term.
The House was scheduled to vote on a pro-life Bill on January 22nd, but the Bill never was brought to the Floor for a vote. Republican John Boehner buckled to the complaints of Republican Renee Ellmers and a few of her Republican friends. I keep repeating the word, Republican, because we are starting to see a trend here. Not a good sign.
Republican Representative Mike McCaul of Texas drafted an amnesty Bill, which would leave the current unlawful actions of the President in place and reduce the barriers along the southern border. McCaul’s Bill was endorsed by the Republican leaders of the House. A massive betrayal.
But, in the chaff of bad news, there is some remarkable good news.
Virginia’s 7th Congressional District sent Dave Brat to Washington. In 16 days, he has taken on the establishment and shown his peers what courageous leadership looks like.
Brat voted against the re-election of John Boehner as Speaker. Despite enormous pressure and ugly threats, he stood his ground. Boehner is spectacularly flawed and Brat would not vote for him.
Next, Dave Brat tenaciously opposed Congressman McCaul’s Bill, which he aptly labeled a “Trojan Horse” for amnesty. In doing so, he asserted that Republicans should keep their election promises.
After exposing the Leadership’s plan to allow amnesty by default, Brat took on the financial claims the President made in the State of the Union speech. As an economics professor, the Congressman is well qualified to criticize the President for his astounding lack of monetary knowledge.
In 16 days, Dave Brat has become a bright star in Washington. If he continues to be principled, strong and fearless, he will become an influential force in Washington and the Country.
In 2018, there will be an important Federal election in Virginia. Perhaps then, three years from now, I will be urging you to elect Dave Brat to the United States Senate.
Ken Adams is the Chairman of the Waynesboro Virginia Republican Committee.