Dan Holler

Offering amendments, evaluating failed programs and advocating serious reforms should be the norm in Washington. Unfortunately, the Washington Establishment disagrees. Rather, they prefer bills to be drafted behind closed doors and have carefully scripted public hearings, markups and debates.

So it will not be surprising when Senator Paul’s courageous effort is met with scorn by the Washington Establishment. But remember, real conservatives don’t come to Washington to be popular; they come to Washington to save the American dream. When talking about Washington last week with a reporter, conservative freshman Representative Steve Southerland (R-FL) said, “I don’t like this place.” It is hard for any conservative to like Washington, which is dominated by Establishment interests that are almost always at odds with policies that promote freedom, opportunity and prosperity.

It would be easy for lawmakers to ignore Senator Harkin’s proposal; in fact, many will and that is exactly what the Washington Establishment wants. They want conservative lawmakers to decide it is not worth the fight. They want conservatives to fear being labeled “obstructionists” or “extremists.”

In fact, if you tune into C-SPAN 2 this week and watch the Senate floor you would never know there are two competing visions for America’s future. Instead, you will see a bipartisan collection of Senate leaders and appropriators who are cautiously optimistic they can avoid a fight and successfully guide a $128 billion spending bill through the Senate’s arcane legislative process.

Anytime a bipartisan group of appropriators say something is a good idea, Americans should be cautious. That bipartisan, “show we can govern mentality” is one of the reasons America’s debt is fast approaching $15 billion. Fortunately, Senator Paul is giving Americans reason for optimism, demonstrating the will to fight for our country’s future remains a top priority for some lawmakers in Washington.

Dan Holler

Dan Holler is the Communications Director for Heritage Action for America. Previously, he held numerous positions at The Heritage Foundation, most recently he was the Senate Relations Deputy. A Maryland native, he is a graduate of Washington College.