While social issues and certain philosophical differences separate Democrats and Republicans on the spectrum, in terms of power, they agree on a great deal. There can never be too much power and money in Washington D.C. This was all supposed to change, however, at least for the Republican Party.
In response to the rise of former President Barack Obama, the tea party movement rose to prominence pushing a limited government message that centered around fiscal conservatism. Many believed that spending was out of control and the debt was sinking any prosperity this country could hope to find.
Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) was apart of this wave of conservatives and libertarians who wanted to change how Washington D.C. did business.
For a time, it shifted Republicans. Times change though. Specifically, party power shifts and when a new party gains control, narratives change.
Under the Obama Administration, the Balanced Budget Amendment and the concept surrounding it was popular for congressional Republicans. The idea was that Democratic politicians were running up the money owed and shouldering our children with the cost. It was unacceptable, and it was our job to rein in government to fiscally responsible levels.
Now the Republicans are selling off their principles and accepting deficit spending as a solution. The current budget proposal being advanced could add more than a trillion dollars to federal deficit.
Once upon a time, Republicans opposed this sort of thing, and that was exactly the point made very eloquently by Congressman Amash.
In a tweet, the Michigan Republican hammers Republicans for changing their tune, stating “2011-2016: Principles! 2017: End justifies the means.” In separate tweets, he criticized fellow Republicans for ditching spending caps without a way to balance things out.
Sadly, this has become a trend among Republicans this year. In what has been a frustrating year of inactivity for a party completely in control, the party elite fails to understand why votes aren’t coming in for weak legislation that lacks any real ambition.
Obamacare is a prominent topic, where the repeal proposals were more of a soft version or variant of Obama’s defining legislative achievement instead of the outright repeal promised to constituents. Have Republicans lost their way?
Rep. Amash and other members of the House Liberty Caucus refused to vote in favor of the budget for obvious reasons. Republicans on the other hand appear desperate for any sort of legislative victory after a year of failure. But will they be desperate enough to sell out?
Republicans under the new era of the Trump administration have largely abandoned the principles they spent many years pushing. Legitimately dismantling Obamacare to limit government and open the free market is no longer welcome. Runaway spending is now welcome, and running up the deficit is on the table. It was once unthinkable for Republicans to support this sort of legislation, but it has now become reality.
Rep. Amash is standing firm along fellow members of the House Liberty Caucus, but they are the minority. The majority of legislators in both the Republican and Democratic parties want more of the status quo when it comes to government spending, and President Trump is apparently in their corner as well.