Tuesday, August 8, 2023

DC Power Grab Invites a Shutdown

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Three ostensibly unrelated events last week are more connected than the media have acknowledged. Trump was unjustifiably indicted in D.C., the credit rating of the U.S. government was downgraded, and leading House conservatives signaled they are fine with defunding the federal government after September 30.

This downgrading last Tuesday of the federal credit score stunned the Biden White House, which howled in response. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued a statement calling it “arbitrary and based on outdated data.”

But House Democrats are predicting some defunding of federal programs and agencies after September 30, when the federal fiscal year ends, because Republican resolve has strengthened to halt runaway government spending. Congress has adjourned until September 12, leaving the divided legislature only a dozen session days to enact a dozen spending bills to keep the lights on in D.C.

Fitch Ratings, which lowered the credit score for the federal government, has been highly respected for more than a century, as one of the so-called Big Three credit agencies. It issued a warning earlier this year; subsequently many mistakenly assumed that the bipartisan deal in June to suspend the debt ceiling until 2025 had allayed concerns.

The sham indictment of Donald Trump in D.C. has given many Republicans no alternative to defunding a federal government weaponized for political gain against them. The army of prosecutors going after Trump includes campaign donors to Biden, and their indictment is as contrived as any ever seen in federal court.

Biden’s politicized DOJ recently demanded that the court gag Trump while he campaigns for president, which would infringe on the First Amendment rights of Americans to hear what the leading candidate has to say about vital national issues. “So, based on yet another Radical Left Hoax, I’ll be the only ‘Politician’ in American history not allowed to SPEAK,” Trump posted early Tuesday on Truth Social.

The charges against Trump pretend that he entered into a conspiracy, which means an actual agreement with others to do something unlawful. Disputing an election, speaking out against suspected election fraud and encouraging others to do likewise, is protected by the First Amendment and not unlawful.

The Biden donor-prosecutors misuse the conspiracy charge to litter the indictment with statements and actions by people other than Trump, and then wrongly accuse Trump of them. Charging someone with criminal conspiracy based on the actions of someone else can be a trick misused by prosecutors when they lack criminal evidence against their target.

Instead of convincing voters as Democrats hoped, Biden political hacks have poisoned the well in D.C. such that more Republicans are ready to stop funding federal agencies and departments misused by Democrats. Fitch’s lowering of the credit rating reflects the reality that the gravy train for unproductive activity in D.C., at the expense of working Americans nationwide, will not chug along forever.

Far from repelling voters from Trump, all indications are that his support grows stronger with each abusive indictment. The disconnect by the D.C. establishment is unsustainable, and inevitably Americans will realize that they need not continue to pay for this misuse of prosecutorial power by Biden campaign donors.

The House controls the purse strings, and one of its conservative leaders is the former college wrestler Rep. Bob Good (R-VA). He stated last week that “most Americans won’t even miss” the federal government if its funding were cut off, which will happen automatically if a new spending plan is not enacted by September 30.

Republicans who opposed the June compromise on the debt ceiling feel vindicated now, as almost immediately after that deal was struck Democrats began prosecuting Trump in Florida at a waste of millions of dollars. The political hacks being funded by Congress even indicted two low-level employees of the former president, presumably to terrorize them into turning against their boss.

This outrageous misuse of taxpayers’ money by federal prosecutors justifies conservatives opposing continued bankrolling of a federal government hijacked by the Left. The conservative House Freedom Caucus has already blocked one of the dozen spending bills needed by October 1 to continue the status quo in D.C.

The most recent indictment against Trump is in D.C., where 95% of its residents and jury pool voted against Trump in 2020, while the remaining 5% fear retaliation if they side with Trump. He cannot possibly obtain an impartial jury in that city, and this case should be moved immediately to nearby West Virginia where people actually work for a living.

House Republicans can selectively defund actions by the Department of Justice, as they did two decades ago in repeatedly prohibiting the use of federal funds to remove a large Latin cross in the Mojave Desert. The House should not be funding this harassment by DOJ of Trump as he campaigns for reelection.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.

These columns are also posted on PhyllisSchlafly.com, pseagles.com, and Townhall.com.

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