Webb: President Trump is the elephant in the room

Webb: President Trump is the elephant in the room
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Say what you will about the president but he aims to keep his word. So far in his presidency he will find a way more often than not to keep it. When Trump announced his run, he broke the emergency glass on problems at the federal level. He also broke the emergency glass that many Americans wanted shattered and exposed the multiple shards of failures and lack of deliverables.

There is not an argument that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE is gregarious, bombastic and there are times when I take a deep breath as he tweets away. 


On a side note, now President Trump did tweet about New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Sept. 11, 2013: “Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone — next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner.” It may not have been words applied to the current news story but the words ring true. The now-disgraced New York attorney general has been known to be a Spitzer-like hypocrite for quite some time. I do take some pleasure in watching him exposed for his abusive, racist and deplorable behavior toward women. Many prominent Democrats have been amazingly silent on this. 

Now back to President Trump. Put aside for a moment the superficial digs and delve below to the actions that are affecting policy. 

On fiscal issues: When the president signed the recent omnibus bill into law he was clear about his displeasure with what Congress had produced. Rather than a protracted fight that he would most likely lose, his administration began to look for ways to make cuts. A tool that the executive branch has is the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act. It is also noted that neither the administrations of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGOP group makes late play in Iowa seat once seen as lost Chance the Rapper works as Lyft driver to raise money for Chicago schools Americans are safer from terrorism, but new threats are arising MORE or George W. Bush used this tool.

Bad news for D.C. big spenders. President Trump’s rescission plan is just getting started. In this first round the $15 billion rescissions delivered to Congress Tuesday targets un-obligated funds. 

Here are some examples of waste. 

A rescission of $800 million that the innovation center at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has no plans to spend in fiscal 2018 and 2019. In 2020 the CMMI will receive a new mandatory appropriation of $10 billion.

Ebola response is also another area where $252 million in funds remaining from the initial Ebola outbreak in 2015 sit idly after the World Health Organization declared the end of the Ebola epidemic in 2016.

This one should really get those who hate government picking winners and losers: $4.3 billion rescission of funds that have been untouched since 2011 under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. Since its inception in 2007 only five loans have been closed.

There are 38 rescissions proposed. There were many falsehoods being immediately reported and written about in the left media but none of these rescissions will affect current programs including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The hypocrisy of the Democrats and in some cases outright lies is clear. Reserve some of this for Republicans who will not line up with House or Senate fiscal conservatives. The swamp is deep and both sides have members who like to swim in it rather than drain it.

The Congress has 45 days to act on the president’s request as written in the Impoundment Control Act. In this period, the funding may be formally withheld from obligation and the relevant agencies cannot spend it. Also, this legislation has special treatment under House and Senate rules and can’t be filibustered in the Senate. 

 There is not a targeted timeline for a second round of rescissions. I would like to see administration and the Republicans follow up on the 2018 annual report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) titled Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits. This report states that with the proposed actions the federal government could save an estimated $178 billion if they addressed approximately 76 percent of the recommendations. The report is on the GAO website for all to read. 

Thus far, Trump has demonstrated that it is better to run with the elephant than against him. This is not to say there will not be losses by supporters of the president in midterm elections, but the wins are far more likely to outweigh the losses and allow him to continue with a Republican majority.

The Republican Party needs to come to terms with the fact that it is better to run as one herd to achieve more of their common goals than be trampled by Democrats which in turn tramples the fiscal future of the country.

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiElection Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach GOP strategist says Trump could want border wall fight to continue to excite base McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' MORE (D-Calif.) has stated she will run for Speaker of the House if Democrats win the majority and roll back the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Let that sink in.

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, a Fox News contributor and a frequent television commentator. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.