Look, Over There!
House Republicans prefer to put on a show rather than do their job.
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For new readers, here are links to a few previous posts that will bring you up to date on what the Feathers of Hope network has been doing :
Wait, Exactly How Will We Do This? — (January 28)
Replacing McCarthy - A Progress Report — (February 16)
Moderate Republicans? Really? — (March 2)
Spread The Word, Write or Call Today — (April 6)
Escape From MAGA World — (May 3)
Is There A Crack In The Wall? — (June 29)
Feathers of Hope is a network of ordinary citizens committed to advocating for the removal and replacement of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, thereby diminishing the power and influence of MAGA extremists in the chamber.
We have been urging moderate Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives to form a temporary bipartisan majority voting bloc for the purpose of passing a motion to “vacate the chair” and elect a new Republican Speaker who owes nothing to the minority MAGA group.
On the last workdays before a 5-week vacation, Speaker McCarthy teases coming distractions rather than pass essential appropriation bills.
As we explained last week ( More Sand In The Gears ), there now are only twelve more legislative days left before the end of this fiscal year on September 30. The House will be in recess the entire month of August, plus the following week as well. With a dozen bills all still needing to pass both the House and Senate to finance the government into the Fall, we can be certain of another dramatic “crisis” around the time of the autumnal equinox.
There’ll be the threat of a government shutdown, then a round of posturing about the perils of a “continuing resolution” (CR) which funds operations at current levels for a specified period. The CR debate will lead to a big “showdown” between an intransigent MAGA/Freedom Caucus contingent and Republican House members who live in the real world where legislation becomes law only when passed by the Senate and signed by the President.
But is there any sense of urgency as Representatives head to the airport on their way home? Is anyone even trying to avoid this scenario? Of course not. The only urgency in evidence is Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s somewhat frantic effort to direct everyone’s attention to the sideshow. What sideshow? Oh, pretty much anything will do if it gets him through another day.
As we’ve seen time and again over the seven months of his Speakership, Mr. McCarthy does not lead. He hops around. In exchange for their votes last January, he promised MAGA extremists there’d be severe spending cuts in the coming budget. But then, under pressure from Wall Street execs dead-set against a U.S. default, he agreed to vastly different spending levels when negotiating with President Biden over the debt ceiling raise in May.
When that agreement became the Fiscal Responsibility Act, passing with a bipartisan majority vote, the betrayed MAGA/Freedom Caucus revolted and the Speaker immediately again capitulated to their demands. What followed was the Censure of Rep. Adam Schiff for his work exposing the crimes of Donald Trump. Any sideshow will do.
So now, rather than set a clear course, and establish a disciplined procedure for passing those appropriation bills in September, Mr. McCarthy is talking about launching a formal impeachment investigation of President Biden. Never mind that there’s no evidence of any offense. The point is only to investigate, not to actually impeach.
And lest anyone think this is just a progressive’s view, here’s what ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus member Ken Buck (R-CO) recently said:
“This is impeachment theater.
We right now are starting the appropriations process, and there is not consensus on the Republican side about what the numbers should be.
Kevin McCarthy promised when he was running for speaker one set of numbers, and then he made an agreement with President Biden for the debt ceiling increase on another set of numbers. So right now, he has got to convince the public that he’s credible and that Republicans have a duty to follow him. The party itself is not in agreement, and we’re gonna have some real trouble passing appropriations bills. . . .
What he’s doing is he’s saying there’s a shiny object over here and we’re really gonna focus on that.”
So with moderate Republicans resisting pointless votes they can’t defend back home, and extremist Republicans calling for passage of spending bills certain to be rejected in the Senate, what’s an impotent leader’s best move? Bring in the clowns.
House Members will be in their home districts in August.
This is an ideal time to contact your representatives and urge them to replace the hopelessly compromised Kevin McCarthy with a strong independent Speaker. In the past we’ve targeted about a dozen or so specific members of each party. Their contact info can be found here: Now's The Time
But unless you are in a deep red district, it’s worthwhile to contact your own representative as well, especially if you have an opportunity to meet with them face-to-face while they’re back home.
For those who’ve been working on this project over the last several months, it may start to seem that this is all an exercise in futility. But that is not true.
A substantial number of extremist MAGA/Freedom Caucus members have publicly pledged to vote against the spending levels agreed to last Spring. So when they return to Washington in September, everyone else will once again have to form a cross-party alliance — this time to fund the government. And every time this happens, the need for a new Speaker becomes ever more apparent. Likewise the process of doing so becomes more familiar. That’s where we come in. The more public support there is for taking a bold step, the more likely that step will be taken.
As was once remarked as a reprimand about Senator Elizabeth Warren: “Nevertheless, she persisted.”
Indeed she did, and she inspires us all to do the same.
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