Speaker McCarthy Delivers – So Far
by Renee Parsons
The 118th Session of the US House of Representatives is off to a roaring start, amidst adoption of HR 5 Rules negotiated between newly-elected Speaker Kevin McCarthy and twenty America First, Constitutionally-minded Members. After five grueling days of balloting and harangues without a final selection, McCarthy won election by virtue of being wise enough to collaborate with the objecting Members who remain unshakable in their principles.
What is unique is how, literally overnight, Republican House Members morphed into a united, formidable party of relevance and authority as Majority Leader Steve Scalise (La) and Rules Committee Chair Tom Cole (Okla) took full command of the House floor guiding adoption of the Rules on party line 220 – 213 vote with one Nay Republican vote.
As debates evolved over the next three days, Republicans played it perfectly; professional and focused on the high road, maintaining a civil attitude of collegiality with reliable facts and pledging to benefit all Americans with a more equitable, engaged process before taking legislation to the House floor.
Meanwhile, across the aisle, the Democrats, led by ranking minority Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass) went on the attack as Dems resorted to name calling, petty whining and complaining; at times, bordering on emotionally overwrought, zealous and passionate vehemence without articulating a valid reason for their opposition. Whenever Democrats boast about abortion or lodge accusations of ‘terrorists,’ ‘extremists’ or ‘election deniers’, it is an admission that they do not have the votes or a credible factual argument and that they are on the ropes; especially as they are genetically incapable of debating without carping about former President Donald Trump referring to all Republicans as MAGA extremists as if it were an insult.
If none of those allegations accomplish the desired effect, expect Dems to fall back on their well-worn guarantee that Republicans will absolutely, positively, categorically, without-a-doubt eliminate Social Security and Medicare proving it is difficult to focus on name calling and facts at the same time.
Highlights of the week’s impressive legislative accomplishments include:
HR 12 creation of Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of Federal Government to function within the House Judiciary Committee; initially focused on Biden’s mishandling of classified documents which landed in the lap of the new subcommittee like manna from heaven. On a 221 – 211 vote with one nay Republican vote.
HR 11 Creation of Select Committee on Strategic Competition between US and Chinese Communist Party on a 365 – 65 vote with 146 Democrats in support (including Reps. Pelosi and Jeffries) and three Republicans Not Voting.
HR 22 (Prohibiting American Strategic Petroleum Reserves from China Act) prohibits DOE Secretary from exporting/sale of American SPR to China was approved 331 – 97 with four Republican nay votes, with Reps. Pelosi and Jeffries opposing while 113 Democrats voted in the affirmative. Senate needs to ratify.
Meanwhile, Speaker McCarthy has been making promised committee assignments with Reps. Andy Ogles (Tenn) and Byron Donalds (Fl) named to the influential Financial Services Committee and Rep. Ralph Norman (SC) continuing on the FSC. Donalds has also been named as the Speaker’s representative on the administrative arm of the Republican Steering Committee. Rep. Andrew Clyde (Ga.) and Rep. Michael Cloud (Texas) are appointed to the powerful Appropriations Committee. Three appointments to the ever-essential Rules Committee are publicly pending altho appointment selections have been made but not expected to be announced until Congress reconvenes on January 24th.
There is an undeniable new dynamism manifest as a quick look at proposed bills introduced by Republican House Members for committee consideration reveals widespread pertinent topics: HR 344 prohibit purchase of American real estate by CCP members; HR 336 immediate resumption of Building the Wall; HR 337 prohibition of a ban on gas stoves; HR 335 increased fentanyl penalty; HR 343 prohibit US contributions to the World Health Organization, HR 348 required audit of Covid 19 funding and on and on.
While McCarthy confirmed that Trump played a significant role in making the necessary calls, there is no agreement that he positively influenced the Twenty to ‘knock it off’ and seal the deal before they reached the point where the deal could not be improved upon. While some of the Twenty are already acknowledged as America First pioneers, others are growing into their nitch as a new faction of politically savvy trail blazers; all no doubt reenergizing the House Republican party as it provides a model for the country and the Senate to experience how a determined single-minded truth-to-power minority can positively alter a once-resistant majority.
As the American Republic and its people struggle for existence, the wretched days of multiple negative votes brought McCarthy no closer to his dream job. The repeated rejection and denials could not have but had a transforming effect, creating a personal shift in McCarthy from a fast talking deal-maker while smoothing some of his edges and providing a different perspective, a radical renewal of his role as The Speaker – leading McCarthy to a personal and political renaissance on behalf of the American people in a time of massive fiscal crisis and constitutional chaos throughout the country.
Once considered a favorite tool of the globalist cabal and its donors and it may be too early to tell but it is apparent that McCarthy has the necessary mojo as well as the opportunity to evolve into a Great Speaker, surpassing even the fabled Speaker Sam Rayburn. It will be McCarthy’s choice.
Renee Parsons served on the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and as president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, staff in the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth and a staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC.