The Corner

Hey, Republicans: Don’t Hand Emperor Obama Your Purse!

It’s hard to use the power of the purse without holding the purse.

Republicans are making a massive mistake by funding the federal government through September 30, 2015. If the spending plan that barely passed the GOP House last night survives the Democratic Senate, Republicans lose most of their leverage to defund Emperor Obama’s executive order on amnesty for illegal aliens until at least next October 1. That will give Obama and legions of federal bureaucrats and lawyers nine months to sink the amnesty decree deeper and deeper into the American body politic and this country’s socio-economic and cultural institutions.

Ronald Reagan once observed, “The closest thing to eternal life is a temporary government program.” Nine months is temporary enough to make this amnesty permanent.

Obama’s unconstitutional order will be that much harder to reverse if it becomes fully funded until at least nearly one month after next Labor Day.

Far worse, Republicans will have rendered themselves nearly impotent for nine months to use their collective purse to smack Emperor Obama over his head the next time he issues yet another decree and pushes America even further down the path toward dictatorship. Given Emperor Obama’s edictophilia, he almost certainly will continue to rule by fiat. Through this policy of unilateral disarmament, Republicans significantly will render themselves spectators in this issue.

Instead, Republicans should extend national-security spending through next September 30, so the American people can be shielded — without interruption — from enemies, foreign and domestic. 

But beyond that, Emperor Obama must be kept on a very short leash — like a Doberman being walked through a cat show.

Spending bills should extend no more than quarterly until the end of Emperor Obama’s reign. If he behaves within the Constitution and respects the separation of powers, Congress will appropriate the funds for his favorite programs. However, if Emperor Obama continues to “go around Congress,” as he loudly and repeatedly boasts, then the legislative branch should yank his chain and, within 90 days or fewer, cut off money for whatever pet projects he loves enough to save by vacating his offending decree(s).

The 114th Congress can and should give speeches, hold hearings and even sue this despot as early and often as necessary for him to obey the Constitution that he has taken two oaths to preserve, protect, and defend. However, its power to fund and defund Emperor Obama’s initiatives is one that they should clutch very, very tightly.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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