Webb: No summer recess

Webb: No summer recess
© Greg Nash

Remember the common phrase “one small step for man…” and modernize it to “one small step for the taxpayers.” 

Before it became the popular battle cry of some Republican senators and congressmen it was Stephen Moore, Larry Kudlow, yours truly and the SiriusXM Patriot audience that led this #NoSummerRecess call. We started with tax reform, and we will accept healthcare reform but not take our eyes off the multiple issues they need to resolve in Washington. 

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The Republican-led Senate has decided to delay its recess by two weeks to do the work for which they were sent back to Washington. Senators can multitask. Keep up the pressure, because they need to stay in Washington for the entire recess. 

It’s simple for me and for many of you. If our deployed service members can be away from their families for months, then our elected officials can survive the hot days of August in the swamp of Washington, D.C. They chose to run for the job and therefore accepted the challenges and responsibilities that come with it. 

The importance of combining tax reform with healthcare reform is an everyday issue for the average American and the corporations. Business tax code reform is the largest financial chunk of this issue, and when coupled with individual tax reform can change dramatically the daily life of struggling Americans. Healthcare reform is needed for more than the broken Affordable Care Act because of the ballooning costs that are more than government-run healthcare can afford. 

Tax reform will help Americans free up their innovative spirit. They will begin to build businesses, which, in turn, will result in the employment of more Americans and therefore grow a capitalist and consumer-based economy such as ours.

Healthcare reform will not happen in a single step, but even if, as President Trump suggests, we begin with a straight repeal and then a structural deconstruction of the un-Affordable Care Act and its provisions, it will inject a level of certainty into the marketplace for both individuals and businesses. 

Let’s start a new call in the form of #NoMoreObstruction by the Washington political establishment. Primarily, this is about Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration White House: Trump remarks didn't derail shutdown talks Schumer defends Durbin after GOP senator questions account of Trump meeting MORE (D-N.Y.) and the Democrats. They have made a conscious decision to obstruct Trump’s administration and the American people by refusing to confirm many qualified nominees. 

Of the 197 presidential nominations, the Senate has only confirmed 48. Only two of 23 judicial nominations have been confirmed. As of this article’s publication, the Senate has only confirmed 23 percent of Trump’s nominations. Compared to former President Obama by the August recess, the Senate had confirmed 69 percent of his 454 for nominations. 

Many will ask why does this matter to me at the Main Street level. The primary role of the federal government is to protect the citizens of the United States, and only six of 22 Department of Defense nominations have been filled so far. Three key positions have not been filled — assistant secretary of Defense, deputy secretary of Defense and principal deputy under the secretary of Defense. 

In order to deal with our immigration issues, the Senate needs to confirm the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

The nominee for the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin Hassett, has broad-based support but no confirmation. Isn’t the economy one of the most important areas that needs attention in America? I could list position after position in many areas in government that are needed, but I think you get the idea at this point. 

While this obstruction is primarily led by the Democrats, it’s fair to ask why the Republican majority is not more successful in confirming the president’s nominations. Call it the deep state or any other version, but the fact is there are too many open positions and the obstruction stalls the agenda for which the American people elected Trump to be the president. 

There is a fair amount of criticism for some establishment Senate Republicans who do not like the disruptive influence that a Trump presidency has on their “Club of 100” hold over the American political system. Regardless of which wing of the Republican Party they belong to, the opposition is based on fear of losing control.

As the majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) must either get this under control and effectively carry forward the president’s agenda, or step away from the leadership position. 

To the Republican citizens of Kentucky, ask the question of your repeatedly elected senator: Why hasn’t he been more successful on behalf of the president you elected?

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot ’25, a Fox News contributor and a frequent television commentator. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.


The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.