Sunday, Mar 26, 2023

Kevin McCarthy is working tirelessly and spending a lot of his political capital to win fights that don't actually matter

Kevin McCarthy is working tirelessly and spending a lot of his political capital to win fights that don't actually matter

While Speaker McCarthy has had some early intraparty wins, his whipping effort for votes reflects his dilemma as he leads a razor-thin GOP majority.

Last year, then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California vowed to oust three Democratic lawmakers from key panels — Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell of California on the Intelligence Committee and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota on the Foreign Affairs Committee — if the GOP regained a majority in the midterm elections.

After Democrats in 2021 removed Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona from their committees for endorsing political violence on social media and for sharing a violent anime video, respectively, conservatives were livid at the move.

And less than a month after McCarthy ascended to the speakership in January, he made good on his promise, removing Schiff and Swalwell from the Intelligence panel. But taking Omar off the Foreign Affairs panel took a good deal more effort on his part.

After a handful of Republicans expressed reservations about booting Omar from the committee, the party's whip operation went into effect, with McCarthy successfully flipping members like Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, and Victoria Spartz of Indiana. Omar was subsequently ousted from the panel in a party-line 218-211 vote over past comments that she had made that were critical of Israel.

The Omar vote was seen as a huge victory for the party, especially coming off McCarthy's protracted 15 rounds of balloting to secure the House speakership. Given that Republicans only control the chamber by a slim 222-212 margin, the California Republican used a lot of political capital to make good on a promise to appease conservatives, as he had few votes to spare.

In a such a narrowly-divided House, McCarthy's arm-twisting tactics got him over the finish line regarding Omar, but will that be enough moving forward?

Republicans led a successful effort to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Not 'Tit for Tat'

Congresswoman Omar repeatedly warned against equating criticism of the Israeli government with antisemitism, but she also apologized for an online comment that she made in 2019 which led House Democratic leaders to issue a statement decrying the then-freshman lawmaker's "prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters."

Democratic leaders didn't take any futher action against Omar in the intervening years, with the lawmaker early on stating that antisemitism was "real" and that she was "grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes."

But Republicans were ginned up to make a statement after citing what they called the "new standard" employed by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi against Greene and Gosar, where the majority was able to insert themselves committee membership held by the minority party.

"If it was tit-for-tat we would've picked people, took them off all committees and said nothing about it," McCarthy told reporters earlier this month.

While Republican leaders were pleased with the outcome, the behind-the-scenes work to push through a successful vote against Omar took up a lot of political oxygen.

And McCarthy only secured the last-minute support from the GOP holdouts after promising to establish a system for removing members from committees.

Rep. James Comer of Kentucky advanced a GOP effort to disapprove of actions taken by the Council of the District of Columbia on a local voting rights act and a criminal code overhaul.

A potential model for the GOP

On Thursday, Republican leaders voted to block two bills passed by the Council of the District of Columbia, wading into the legislative affairs of the Democratic-dominated city, which incensed and worried local leaders.

Most conservatives have made their distaste for DC statehood efforts well known, despite previous support from some prominent Republicans in decades past.

The votes on Thursday centered on two pieces of legislation — one that would allow noncitizens to vote in municipal elections beginning in 2024 and another which overhauled the city's criminal code.

Republicans have remarked that the DC council's actions would threaten voter integrity and public safety in the District.

But while Democrats overwhelmingly back statehood and have largely backed the city's elected government, there were multiple defections on these two resolutions. On the resolution going after the noncitizens voting bill, the vote was 260-162, with 42 Democrats joining a united bloc of 218 Republicans; the criminal code resolution vote was 250-173, with 31 Democrats voting alongside 219 Republicans.

Republicans will undoubtedly push more conservative bills as the 118th Congress proceeds, but McCarthy's best bet for success in such a narrowly-controlled Congress is to peel off Democrats on some of the bigger votes.

While the House resolutions will likely hit a brick wall in the Senate, McCarthy knows that while ultraconservative bills could pass with the slimmest of margins, they would be purely symbolic.

Many GOP members would welcome such actions ahead of the 2024 presidential election, in an attempt to create a foil in President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats. But for McCarthy, continually arm-twisting to pass bills that won't go anywhere may not inspire confidence among Independents that will decide legions of House races next year.

So for McCarthy, it is important to inspire some level of confidence among the electorate. But with the early discord within the Freedom Caucus before he even took hold of the speaker's gavel, it won't be an easy road.


Related Articles

Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Bordeaux town hall set on fire in France pro democracy protest
Police violence in Paris
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Drew Barrymore
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
Kamala Harris: "The United States has formally determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity."
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Nord Stream terror attack: David Sacks breaks down Sy Hersh's story
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
Miracle: El Salvador Search and Rescue teams, with the support of Turkish teams, rescued a woman and a child from the rubble 150 hours after the earthquake
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT
This shocking picture, showing how terrible is the results of the earthquake in Turkey
President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union Address , in order to help Americans that missed the 2022 speech, do not have internet, and suffer from short memory.