Levin: ‘Republican Leadership Just Handed Power of the Purse Back to the President'

Michael Morris | November 6, 2014 | 10:29am EST
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What is the one thing that “has not been discussed by anybody anywhere about this election,” that had Mark Levin “chomping at the bit to get back on the air to talk to [us]?” The government shutdown last year.

“What does that have to do with anything?” scoffed Mark Levin. “It has to do with everything.”

Levin continued:

“Remember the government shutdown last year, for 16 days, October 1 – October 16? Well I remember it. I remember hearing an article in Politico – I have a long memory – where Speaker John Boehner privately warned House Republicans, they could lose their majority in 2014 as a result of shutting down the government.

“They picked up 13 seats at least yesterday. It wasn’t even an issue.”

“Ted Cruz came under withering attack by conservative and neoconservative commentators on TV, on FOX,” recalled Levin. Republican senate members leaked to Politico, The New York Time and The Washington Post, trying to destroy Cruz, saying that he would cost them (the Republicans) the ability to reclaim the Senate. But that’s not what happened is it? The Republicans won nine seats.

“The government shutdown,” Levin stated emphatically.

He went on:

“The Washington ComPost, October 22, 2013: “Poll: Major Damage to GOP After Shutdown and Broad Dissatisfaction with Government . Dan Balz and Scott Clement, the Budget Confrontation that led to a partial government shutdown dealt a major blow to the Republican image and has exposed significant division between Tea Party supporters and other Republicans, according to a new Washington ComPost ABC News Poll.

“The survey highlights just how badly the GOP hardliners, and the leaders who went along with them, misjudged the public mood, and in the aftermath eight in 10 Americans said they disapproved of the shutdown, two in 10 Republicans, or Independents who lean Republican, share a negative view of the impact. Even a majority of those who support the Tea Party disapprove.”

Here we are a year later and people on the air “are debating whether it’s a wave, a tidal wave, a hurricane, a tornado, a tsunami, a big wave, a small wave, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, whatever.” But nothing is being said about the government shutdown a year ago.

“This is very very important to remember folks, as we try to save the country from this massive spending,” remarked Levin. “This is the twentieth government shutdown last year, the twentieth. The biggest government shutdown prior to that was in the mid-90’s, Newt Gingrich versus Clinton, and they lost a few seats but they never lost a majority in the House. It was insignificant. And you keep hearing, even today, ‘government shutdown, we can’t do a government shutdown. We can’t do a government shutdown.’”

“Now, why am I talking about a government shutdown the day after the election?” asked Levin, because everyone’s euphoric and giddy, “Yay, we won! We won!”

Levin then explained the importance of recalling the government shutdown:

“Because, within 24 hours of winning, the Republican leadership just handed the power of the purse back to the President of the United States.

“It belongs in Article I, not in Article II.

“Mitch McConnell held a press conference today, at the University of Louisville, and he said, gratuitously, almost, we’re not going to shut down the government. We’re not going to endanger the national debt situation.”

“I wasn’t even going to start with this point,” remarked Levin, “but I’m going to bring it through. There’s a lot of good news, but there are a lot of issues we’ve got to confront.”

Then Mark Levin played a clip from McConnell’s press conference just yesterday:

Reporter: “The debt ceiling is coming up sometime this spring, this summer. Are we going to have another brinkmanship moment there, or are those sorts of crises going to end?

Mitch McConnell: “Let me make it clear. There will be no government shutdown and no default on the national debt.”

“Who’s talking about default on the national debt?” asked a frustrated Levin. “What we’re talking about is the national debt that is out of control.”

“There will be no government shutdown.” That means that the power of the purse is being surrendered by Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership.  “There’s nothing left. There’s nothing that can be done. There’s no leverage now,” scolded Levin.

Levin then explained the importance of the power of the purse and its origins:

“The framers of the constitution, you can read it in Madison’s notes. You can read it in the Federalist Papers. You can read it in notes taken during the, several of the uh, ratifying convention to the states.

“The power of the purse was the key! They gave it to the House of Representatives.

“The House of Representatives had an absolute landslide night. Say what you will about the Senate and everything else. There’s no question, the House of Representatives, there are more Republicans now in the House of Representatives, some have said, since 1946, some have said, since 1928. The point is, the majority is huge! They own the power of the purse – the power to tax or not.

“To just glibly say, ‘There will be no government shutdown, and there will be no national debt prop,’ is to give it up.”

For those who disagree, Levin asks, “Then what is left for Congress to use to control a lawless president? If you saw any of his press conference today, this man is in full Benito Mussolini-mode. Benito Obama was in full view.

Levin then referred to comments made by Reince Priebus, wherein Priebus suggested that if Obama moved on his own to legalize illegal aliens, they’re (Republicans) not going to stand for it. But “[t]hey just surrendered the power of the purse to Barack Obama. What do they mean they’re not going to stand for it?” questioned Levin.

Not only that, but they (Republican leadership in the House and Senate) “are working behind the scenes on a budget with the administration. Then they’re going to bring it out – this big, fat, massive budget. Then they’re going to say it demonstrates bipartisanship and that they can govern. But you’re screwed!”

“I’m not going to back off folks. This is where we have to get smart and mature and really zone in,” declared Levin. Leave all of the “happy talk” to Fox News and talk radio. “We’re going to be smart here,” said Levin.

So, what’s the number one lesson we’ve learned from all of this?

Levin tells us:

“[T]he government shutdown, such as it was, 17 percent of the government shut down, approximately a year from this election had zero effect on the outcome of the election. Zero! None!

“The Republicans picked up nine seats in the Senate, took the majority, and increased their majority in the House by another 13 seats. So, the government shutdown had no effect whatsoever, and yet, the Republican leadership is still running from it. They’re still scared of it.”

“Well, how are we ever going to get our financial house in order? How are we ever going to get our financial house in order if we do not use the power of the purse – the power to tax, the power to defund?” pleaded Levin. “That’s the leverage Congress has.”

“But it won’t have it under this presidency, because the new majority leader, the old minority leader (Mitch McConnell), just surrendered it."

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