Webb: 4 issues the GOP can fix in 2015

Webb: 4 issues the GOP can fix in 2015
© Getty Images

The growing Republican majority in the House of Representatives and the new Republican majority in the Senate present an opportunity for solutions on key issues in the near term. There are a few issues that Republicans can tackle and put in front of President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaProgressives say go big and make life hard for GOP Biden giving stiff-arm to press interviews Jill Biden campaigns for McAuliffe in Virginia MORE, with the opportunity to vote for — or against — the needs of the American people. 

Keystone XL: New Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE has stated that the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline is the first issue the Senate will tackle. This would likely set up a vote in the Senate next week; the bill is expected to pass easily (though it faces a veto threat from the White House). McConnell has said that he will allow an open amendment process on a floor vote — a remarkable difference from the lack of action and transparency during the Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt Fight over Biden agenda looms large over Virginia governor's race MORE-led Senate. If Obama uses his veto pen, it’s at the detriment of the American economy and long-term U.S. jobs.

ADVERTISEMENT
ObamaCare: There are more expected votes on a full repeal of ObamaCare and it appears this is more about giving lawmakers a chance to go on record. In the Senate, of course, a filibuster would likely stop any effort against ObamaCare. There are also expected votes on the excise tax on medical device sales and a change in the definition of the full-time work week, from 30 hours to 40 hours. It’s questionable how many Democrats would join on the latter measures, as it puts them in a difficult spot, with an effective lobby for medical device manufacturers and with Americans who would like to be able to work more hours at companies that wish to avoid the penalties of ObamaCare. 

Immigration: As Obama travels the country touting an economy that is based on the markets (not necessarily the economy that Americans face at their kitchen tables) he will make a stop in the state of Arizona. However, it’s reported he has no plans to address immigration there despite the fact that Arizona is a border state that has been at odds with the president and the federal government on a number of aspects regarding this crucial security issue. Executive fiat is no way to resolve this issue. It’s fair to surmise that in large part this is a play for the Hispanic vote, because as projected by the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics will represent 29 percent of the U.S. population in 2050, whereas blacks will remain at 13 percent, today’s current level. 

The debt ceiling: This is been a sore spot for all of us in the Tea Party movement, as well as for those who don’t identify with the Tea Party. The reason for this is simple: We cannot spend more than we take in and expect that there won’t be a time in which the economic chickens come home to roost. The machinations of Republican and Democratic leadership during the lame-duck session in creating a “cromnibus” bill does not resolve the issue, and it further alienates rational Americans who see this dysfunction and lack of responsibility for what it is. Short-term funding of the Department of Homeland Security was not enough to put aside the concerns of how the federal government deals with our illegal alien problem. Funding that allows
ObamaCare to go forward through March 2015 is also a sticking point for the more conservative members of the House and Senate. 

There is an opportunity here for Republicans to work toward a balanced budget amendment and, for the first time since the election of Barack Obama, this country has a chance of working from a budget as Americans have to do at home. Missing this window will be damaging for Republicans nationally. 

This is just a starting point. What the Republicans do for the next two years will either signal to the American people that they understand the seriousness of issues facing the U.S. or that they are merely the next crop of institutional politicians not accountable to those who elected them. In the run-up to 2016, Republicans must expand their view beyond the presidential race. Republicans must again become a party of the future, not of the near-term election cycle. 

There is a role for governors and responsible state legislatures in this need for overhaul. States must find ways to reject federal dollars and fix problems locally. This will help reduce the enormous and still growing influence of the federal government in individual states.

Solutions, not rhetoric, are the path to a better future and regaining the trust of a disgruntled citizenry.

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, a Fox News contributor and has appeared frequently on television as a commentator. Webb co-founded TeaParty365 in New York City and is a spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.