Mr. Hewitts advice is simple:
First, do not cut the expected hike in the military housing allowance or increase the deductible applicable to medical services for military families on active duty. I would hope the GOP learned its lesson last year that your base is deeply committed to the proposition that the active duty and retired-career military should be the last category to receive benefit cuts, not the first in line to get whacked.
…Next, do not vote for a Continuing Resolution that is other than a stop-gap measure. Allowing a lame duck Congress to set spending for the balance of 2015 just after the country voted overwhelmingly to reject the authority of Harry Reid and his allies over that process would itself be a rejection of the people’s vote.
Mr. Hewitt then makes a very prescient prediction:
Look, this president only knows how to do one thing, which is how to make the Congressional GOP look bad –very bad in fact. That is his goal, his entire reason for being for the next 24 months. The president intends to force a shut down next fall, and no matter what you try and do between now and then, he will force that shutdown. The only thing you can do successfully is frame his incipient irresponsibility by quickly passing an updated version of the Ryan Budget –one which removes the sequester from the Department of Defense— and then follow up with the appropriations bills that conform to that budget, communicating every day of the year that you are acting responsibly and the president is refusing to do so.
Be ready. That prediction makes a lot of sense. The President is an expert at convincing the press that he is right when he is wrong. The voters are looking for two things in the new Republican Congress–one is a return to the idea of small, limited government and the second is the developing of a backbone to stand up to a lame-duck President. I am a Republican, and I am waiting for the Republicans to convince me that they are not simply interested in being in control of the bureaucracy, but understand the need to shrink the government and cut spending.