Shut Down COVID Harms
Omicron and midterms create the opening and the reason to clean house. Start by having legislators lay down the laws.
February 4, 2022 drafted
February 18, 2022 published
On February 19th, the national government’s current funding will expire.
On February 2nd, minority Representative Chip Roy (TX, Liberty Score 100% ) and Senators Rand Paul (KY, 94% ), Ron Johnson, (WI, 72% ), and Ted Cruz (TX, 82% ) wrote to minority leaders Representative Kevin McCarthy (CA, 54% ) and Senator Mitch McConnell (TX, 40% ) saying they refuse to vote for any national-government funding that includes funding for COVID-19 vaccine mandate enforcement in any jurisdiction—national, state, or local .
It’s about time that some in Congress started using their powers to limit governments. But remedying this by eliminating certain funding line items would have some problems.
An overarching problem is that this would continue a longstanding unconstitutional grab of the executive power.
The Constitution, despite containing a number of legal terms , at its core is a contract made by the public . People supported this contract because they understood that the Constitution, above all, limits governments .
People supported limiting presidents. As part of marketing the Constitution to the people, in Federalist 58 John Madison claimed that presidents were limited by the detail clause that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by law.”  In practice, as we’ve seen, if this clause is taken to give congresses line-item control of budgets, then legislators act as executives, nobody is accountable, and nearly everybody logrolls.
This constitutional interpretation, then, violates the contract. People understood this clause to limit presidents, not to create unlimited congresses.
People also supported limiting congresses . A significant way that congresses theoretically would be and in practice should be limited is through the sweeping clause that “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” 
This constitutional interpretation upholds the contract. Congresses limit the overall appropriations and pass rules and sanctions; presidents limit congressional logrolling by controlling line-item spending. Presidents are obligated to take responsibility for putting scarce resources to their most-valuable uses, to execute the rules and sanctions passed by congresses.
Limiting government harms by striking certain budget line items—assuming that presidents would keep abiding by this limit—would have other problems too.
Regulatory agencies would remain positioned to create further COVID harms in other guises.
And as a practical matter, the instigating minority of the minority is not well-positioned to pass bills and get them signed. Their chance of success here with their opening offensive is slim.
Fortunately, though, here there’s an opening to work out a bypass that more legislators and the president will find expedient. God has provided.
Omicron is taking away all the rationalizations for government abuses in the name of COVID .
For the Progressive Democrats facing large losses in the midterms and for the Republican Progressives fearing serious risks in their primaries, taking all the COVID actions that are now deeply unpopular with the weary majority of voters and suddenly disappearing all these actions into a memory hole would be electoral gold .
Now is a great time to clean house. For the constitutionalists, now is a great time to do this by following the Constitution.
All that’s needed are three simple takedowns:
The Progressive president could tell his base that the people have spoken here and it’s time to move on to other bureaucratic initiatives.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could tone down but keep their ratcheted-up administrative state, keep the lessons that all of the administrators have been learning, and head into the midterms having worked on a bipartisan basis to neutralize the sting of what are now our Progressive governments’ most-unpopular initiatives.
Minority leaders McCarthy and McConnell’s majority, who are Progressives , could briefly deliver the majority-constitutionalist voters a clearly more-limited government than in the past two years, could more assuredly keep their seats, and could go on offense to add more Republican Progressives.
The Republicans’ constitutionalists could deliver a more-limited, more-constitutionalist government—one in which legislatures pass or vote down rules and sanctions, executives execute these laws, and judges opine about cases. Starting to follow the Constitution’s actual processes to secure unalienable rights would resuscitate these key processes for business as usual, and would begin reestablishing good boundaries.
For the Progressive president, the Progressive majorities, the minority’s Progressives, the minority’s constitutionalists, and the majority-constitutionalist voters, this bypass is win-win-win-win-win.
Everybody lives to fight another day. And for now, the people claw back some freedom.
James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers, has written in The Federalist, American Thinker, Foundation for Economic Education, and American Greatness, and publishes rConstitution.us. Mr. Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.