Remember The Debt Ceiling Fight? It's Back.
A Spending Package was negotiated, agreed upon, passed and signed. But the Freedom caucus is still squawking.
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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)
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.
Just days after passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Speaker Kevin McCarthy was already re-defining its terms.
Pretending that agreed-upon spending caps were somehow still negotiable, Mr. McCarthy suggested that the House Apropriation bills should be written to lower levels. These are the bills that specify each govt. department's spending levels. And they are the next order of business when Congress returns to session next week.
"We can always spend less," he said, as though the agreement (HR3746) never existed. Of course, it does exist and there is no way that any bill written at spending levels lower than agreed upon will ever pass the Senate or be signed by the President. Recognizing this reality, Republicans in the Senate are already preparing bills within the parameters Speaker McCarthy and President Biden set together.
Nevertheless, Kevin McCarthy is once again signaling his deference to the MAGA Freedom Caucus extremists. And he's inviting a repeat of this Spring's pointless dance of the glowers. Basking in their performative outrage and self-righteous anger, the same actors have promised that "the (House) floor will stop." And for good measure, they'll try to shut down the rest of government as well.
There is a basket of procedural gimmicks, such as Continuing Resolutions and Sequestrations, which can be utilized to avoid the worst outcomes. But the entire cycle of right-wing tantrum-throwing, extortionist threats and dramatic ultimatums is about to start again. Inevitably this will lead to the same scripted ending, when a bipartisan majority comes to the rescue just before the September 30 deadline (start of the new fiscal year).
It's all a collosal waste of time and energy. And it’s totally unnecessary as there is an obvious alternative scenario, which we’ve been advocating all along. How many more times will this have to happen?
In last week’s post Is There A Crack In The Wall? we noted signs of growing dissension within the House Republican Caucus, including inside the Freedom Caucus itself.
Yesterday, the Daily Beast reported that Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has indeed been expelled from the group. The stated reason was that she had “disparaged” another member, presumably Lauren Boebert (R-CO). But it’s hard not to conclude that this is yet another shot at Kevin McCarthy, as Ms. Greene has allied herself ever more closely with the Speaker.
Meanwhile, there’s a growing chorus of moderate Republicans angry that the entire agenda of the House of Representatives is being dominated by the MAGA extremist minority. Latest to speak up is six-term Representative David Joyce (R-OH), who is Chairman of the Republican Governance Group. Mr. Joyce forcefully challenged the idea that all Republicans must agree to the demands of the most conservative members:
“If you don’t want to vote for (something), that’s fine. But don’t get up and say that no Republicans should vote for it. There are 435 districts. You don’t control any of them but the one you were elected in.”
Also raising objections are several Members who represent districts carried by President Biden in 2020. Marcus Molinaro (R-NY) is one of these, having just been elected last November. Pointing out that the Republicans’ slim majority is as much due to their victories as to any others, he objects to being side-lined.
“We have the majority because we all created the relationship with our districts to earn the right to be here, which, by the way, means that we all have the right to have our voices and our constituents’ voices heard.”
It’s no suprise that resentment and frustration over the extremists’ continued disruption is growing. But so what? Why should we care?
As many liberals and progressives see it, all Republicans are irredeemable enablers of Donald Trump and his MAGA cohorts. Whether they all sing from the same hymnal, or descend into bickering cliques is of no interest or concern, exept insofar as it may affect the election sixteen months from now.
This is a very short-sighted and self-destructive view. The point’s been made here before and bears repeating:
The goal of MAGA radicalism is disruption and chaos, thus sabotaging any further progress during President Biden’s administration. As the minority Party in the House of Representatives, Democrats’ only option for continuing the work of Congress this session is to build a cross-party alliance capable of governing. And that is impossible so long as Kevin McCarthy remains Speaker of the House.
As we’ve been advocating, Kevin McCarthy must be removed and replaced by means of a bipartisan majority vote to vacate the chair and elect a moderate Republican Speaker.
This will marginalize the MAGA extremists, diminish their influence on daily proceedings in the House, and allow the chamber to function normally once again.
I urge everyone in our network to encourage Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) to seek the support of Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) in order to be elected Speaker of the House .
Don Bacon: (202) 225-4155 D.C. Office. (402) 938-0300 District Office
2104 Rayburn House Office Building —Washington, DC 20515
District Office: 3906 Gold Circle, Suite 101 — Omaha, NE 68144
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