Dear representative or senator: Welcome back to Washington.
I hope you had a nice break and you are ready to work hard on behalf of the American people.
The first step in working hard for the people is to ignore just about everything they are telling you back home.
Yes, they are tired of war. They think Iraq and Afghanistan were one big cruel joke that wasted a lot of money and cost a lost of lives. And to them, this is a civil war in a country far, far away. Why get involved?
It’s a good question, one you should ask the president’s people when they come knocking at your door — if they come knocking at your door. The fact of the matter is that the president needs your help, even if he has campaigned against you and thinks that you are the root of all evil. We can’t have a president looking really, really weak in the eyes of the world. We can’t have Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad making fun of our president.
If they get away with that, just imagine what that new guy in Iran will do.
We don’t have a lot of time, with all of the holidays and such, to keep the government open, so as you are trying to decide how to vote in Syria, please keep an open mind about keeping the government open.
No, we aren’t going to defund ObamaCare in the continuing resolution. The president isn’t going to go for that, and it couldn’t pass the Senate anyway. I know that some of your colleagues keep saying that we can fund the rest of government except for the new healthcare law implementation, but that’s not how the law works. Most of the funding comes through mandatory spending, so this law is going forward unless we repeal it, and that’s not going to happen, at least not with Obama in the White House and Harry ReidHarry ReidSanders and Schumer are right: Ellison for DNC chair The Hill's 12:30 Report Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs MORE as Senate majority leader.
While were on the topic of meaningless drivel, get ready to add a few more zeroes on to the national debt. Yep, it’s that time of the year again, when the debt limit has to be increased.
I know, I know, you hate to vote to extend the debt limit, and yes, I know, when the president was a senator, he voted against extending that debt limit. But we have been piling up more debt for close to two centuries. In fact, the last president to pay off the entire debt was Andrew Jackson. And after he did that, our country went into a big depression. So, paying off the debt is not really realistic. Just do the right thing and vote to extend it. Otherwise, Social Security checks won’t be issued.
Speaking of paying of debt and balancing budgets, we aren’t going to balance the budget by cutting your pay in half or by getting rid of all foreign aid. And we aren’t going to balance the budget by keeping the government’s hands off of the Medicare system. I know you get a lot of good ideas from your constituents, but keep in mind that, on most issues, your constituents don’t know anything. They really don’t. So don’t spend too much time listening to them.
And don’t spend too much time listening to constituents who say that those damn Mexicans have taken their jobs away when those same constituents wouldn’t be caught dead working in a chicken factory or in the fields picking corn or at a motel cleaning rooms. When immigration comes to the House floor, don’t listen to those folks back home who want to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants, because if we do that, our economy will collapse.
Together, we will have a lot of fun this fall, backing our president on Syria, keeping the government open, paying our nation’s debt (compiled over the last decade or so) and, if we are lucky, getting the chance to fix our broken immigration system. It should be a great time.
A Washington insider
P.S. You might want to turn off your cellphone and not check your Facebook page or your Twitter feed until after this all gets over with.
Feehery is president of Quinn Gillespie Communications and spent 15 years working in the House Republican leadership. He is a contributor to The Hill’s Pundits Blog and blogs at thefeeherytheory.com