One day after winning majority, House GOP fails key test
Most observers agreed it was inevitable, but on Wednesday night the lingering uncertainty was finally resolved: House Republicans fell well short of expectations in the midterm election, but they crossed the line. numerical threshold and obtained a majority at the next Congress.
Some of the immediate attention was on the inevitability of legislative gridlock: Whatever the incoming GOP majority might want to pass will likely die given Democratic control of the Senate and White House. But on Thursday morning, I argued that it probably wouldn’t matter, at least not very much, because Republicans aren’t particularly interested in legislating anyway.
It is, after all, a post-political party, indifferent to governing. Republicans will be obsessed with Hunter Biden and will pursue impeachment crusades, but as a New York Times analysis summarizes, “their agenda is investigative, not legislative.”
And as Thursday wore on, GOP lawmakers were kind enough to effectively endorse the thesis.
CNN got the ball rolling with that report, quoting Republican Rep. Brian Mast raising the prospect of government shutdowns now that his party is poised to take control. “Nobody ever really liked (government shutdowns),” the Floridian said. “But I think you’re in a different state of play right now, where people are going, in part, to yearn for government shutdowns.”
Shortly after, it was time for a jaw-dropping Capitol Hill press conference. The talking points memo reported:
Key future House Republican committee chairs, flanked by members with grim expressions and unintelligible visual aids, unveiled their grand investigative plans for January: something Hunter Biden. For those unfamiliar with the rabbit holes of the right-wing Hunter Biden fixation, the “crimes” were a little hard to follow.
At one point, one of the reporters covering the event asked lawmakers a substantive question unrelated to GOP conspiracy theories. Republican Rep. James Comer, soon to head the House Oversight Committee, quickly tried to nip the line of inquiry in the bud.
“If we could keep that about Hunter Biden, that’s a big deal, we think,” the Kentucky congressman said. said.
Granted, the assembled Republicans certainly seemed to believe their Hunter Biden conspiracy theories were “a bit of a big deal,” but for those of us without far-right decoder rings, the whole pitch was a mess.
Shortly after, Republican Chip Roy, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told NBC News that he supported the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, adding, “It’s not even a call. close.”
For good measure, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, confirming earlier reports, told Capitol Hill reporters that the new GOP leadership was, in fact, on board with “investigations into the treatment of Jan. 6 defendants.” before the trial”.
It all happened literally day one after the party won its majority in the House. It should have been a day when Republicans proved they were ready to govern and lead the People’s House. They did the opposite.
What the Americans saw was a fundamentally unserious party. On Thursday, it appeared the GOP was barely trying.