Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday encouraged the GOP to defund federal agencies or missions in order to hamstring Obama administration policies. Gingrich, speaking to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, said:
Stage 1 of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund any of the radical efforts. […] Under our Constitution, the Congress doesn’t have to pass the money. If EPA gets no budget, it can’t enforce cap and trade. If HHS gets no budget…
As former Bush speechwriter and exiled conservative commentator David Frum said, “In other words: Follow a 1994-style Republican takeover with a 1995-style government shutdown. It worked the last time!”
Also speaking at the conference was former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who mocked the EPA as the “Economic Punishment Agency.” Federal employees have already found themselves the target of a lot of criticism and anger this year, and the rhetoric coming out of the GOP’s conference seems to indicate those headaches won’t end anytime soon — and may begin to affect agencies’ ability to get their jobs done.