House GOP: Congressing Is Hard

Today Kevin McCarthy and the House GOP made much noise over the White House’s failure to “negotiate” over the debt ceiling. Josh Marshall writes,

This morning, Speaker Kevin McCarthy went on Twitter to castigate the President for his “extreme position” on the debt ceiling, which is that he won’t negotiate over the debt ceiling. It’s a remarkable turnabout. Republicans took the hostage and now they’re waiting for the SWAT team and negotiators to show up. But they’re nowhere to be seen. And now they’re saying to themselves, what do we do now? It’s the equivalent of the hostage takers ringing up the cops and telling them to please hurry up.

The House GOP has yet to propose an official budget. I understand there are multiple groups of Republicans working separately on budgets, to be released in April, maybe. And the House Freedom Caucus released something they seem to think is a budget, discussed below. But they’ve all been so busy investigating why Twitter refused to published Hunter Biden’s dick pics, you know.

Lindsey McPherson reports for Roll Call,

Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday wrote to President Joe Biden asking him to set a date for their next negotiating meeting on the debt limit by the end of the week.

The California Republican reiterated that his conference is set on pairing any debt limit increase with policies that would cut spending, save taxpayers money and spur economic growth, while offering four examples of the types of proposals he and Biden could discuss.

McCarthy’s examples, which he stressed were not exhaustive, included cutting nondefense discretionary spending to “pre-inflationary” levels and limiting out-year growth; rescinding unspent pandemic aid; strengthening certain benefit programs’ work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents; and other legislation, such as an energy policy overhaul to spur more domestic production and border security measures that would stop the flow of fentanyl. 

I don’t want to hear anything from Republicans until the Congressional Budget Office crunches the numbers to let us know the real impact. That hasn’t happened, of course.

Biden has repeatedly said he will not negotiate conditions for raising the debt ceiling. The president has said he is willing to have separate negotiations with Republicans on spending, but that he wouldn’t sit down with McCarthy again until the GOP released a budget proposal.

“It’s time for Republicans to stop playing games, agree to pass a clean debt ceiling bill, and quit threatening our economic recovery,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “The president welcomes a separate conversation about our nation’s fiscal future. Earlier this month, he released a budget that cuts the deficit by nearly $3 trillion while lowering costs for families and investing in America.”

McCarthy has said Republicans should not need a budget to negotiate on the debt limit, especially when they’ve put forward ideas and the president has not yet engaged.

It sounds to me as if the President has “engaged” a lot more than the Republicans have. He’s put out something concrete, and the CBO has scored it. 

Citing the “rapidly approaching deadline” — experts predict the debt limit “x” date will hit sometime between June and September — McCarthy warned Biden that he is “on the clock.”

“It’s time to drop the partisanship, roll up our sleeves, and find common ground on this urgent challenge,” he wrote. “Please have your team reach out to mine by the end of this week to set a date for our next meeting.”

I agree with the President that there’s no point in meeting with anybody until there are real proposals with real numbers. Oh, wait, there’s the House Freedom Caucus. Back to Josh Marshall:

 The House Freedom Caucus is telling everyone who will listen that Kevin McCarthy is a chump who doesn’t control anything. If you want to resolve the crisis you need to talk to the people in charge — not the butler or the assistant — which is them, the House Freedom Cacuus.

Last week the House Freedom Caucus held a press conference along with Senate fellow travelers Mike Lee and Rick Scott in which they demanded that President Biden come to the next meeting of the House Freedom Caucus, last Wednesday night, and start negotiating. Rep. Lauren Boebert, who spoke for the group, said the Freedom Caucus was “the only caucus who has released a plan to address this situation.” True enough. They’re making the same argument as the White House, albeit with a different aim. How are you going to negotiate with McCarthy when he hasn’t even decided on his negotiating position?

Yes, the House Freedom Caucus has a Plan, and the White House already has responded to it. And the response is, basically, you’re kidding, right? The House Freedom Caucus  plan is so extreme it even defunds the police. Josh Marshall:

So what’s going on here? The Freedom Caucus budget blueprint is toxic. They don’t care because they’re almost all from safe districts. (Ironically, Boebert is one of the very few who is not.) But McCarthy needs to think about the whole caucus, the next election and the presidential election. McCarthy’s aim is to pressure Biden into negotiations without saying what it is he, McCarthy, actually wants. If McCarthy can get Biden into a negotiation, they’re probably going to come out of it with a bunch of cuts most voters don’t like. But it’s okay because Biden owns them just as much as McCarthy.

That’s the gambit. So far it’s not working.

In other news, Mike Pence has been ordered to testify to Jack Smith’s grand jury. “Executive privilege” claims by Trump’s legal “team” have been swept aside. Also,

The judge affirmed the idea that Mr. Pence had some protection under “speech or debate” based on his role in overseeing the certification of the election inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. But Judge Boasberg also said that Mr. Pence would have to testify to the grand jury about any potentially illegal acts committed by Mr. Trump, the person familiar with the matter said.

Just hurry it up, people.

9 thoughts on “House GOP: Congressing Is Hard

  1. Reading about Duh FreeDUMB KKauKKKus, and Charley McCarthy's much dumber brother, Kevin, and the way they try to play at governing,  reminds me of the Mafia in Jimmy Breslin's great book, "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight."

    Man, they raise 'em REAL stupid in gerrymandered Red districts!

  2. I would think that Pence would welcome a subpoena. It provides the cover he needs to drop the pretense of being the dutiful christian subordinate to that scumbag Trump. After Trump fucked him over you'd think he'd be eager to deliver a nice big payback. Pence knows damn well that Trump set the mob on him, and had they gotten their hands on him there's no doubt they would have killed him. And if they didn't kill him they would have at least beat him into a vegetative state. I can understand Pence wanting to capitalize on his image of being a virtuous christian who prides himself on turning the other cheek, but I suspect when he gets behind the closed doors of the Grand Jury the pain that Trump has inflicted upon him will pour out in sobs.

     That just stands to reason. How can any human being suffer the humiliation of eating Trump's shit for four years, only to be cast to the wolves without any regard for his life, his faithfulness, or his sacrifice. Not to mention Trump made him walk out of a good football game just to show Trump objection to a player taking a knee.

    Pence, drop the Christain act!

    • Some use Christianity as a moral facade.  It looks like Bebe might be up to the same with Judaism.

    • Pence should actually live up to being a Christian, by having the courage to come clean. He's terrified of his brainwashed Trump supporters, many of whom are evangelicals. His political prospects would evaporate were he to alienate them.

      He's a smarter, and more dangerous version of Kevin McCarthy, who often gives away the game with his remarks. Pence has the Jedi ability to simply shut up and keep the cards close to his chest. 

  3. Slightly OT, but this is the larger picture. Few people are pointing out the setup:

    1) in 2017, pass a ginormous tax cut, that benefits mainly the wealthy, and will put the squeeze on finances (read entitlements) five or so years down the road

    2) the other shoe drops in 2023: Republicans come hunting for Social Security and Medicare, because debt, which they deliberately created.

    Step 2 was articulated all the way back in 2017. This is a planned crisis.

    Nikki Haley is the point lady for Step 2. She's talking Social Security "reform", not affecting current retirees, definitely impacting generations to come. It's not enough that 1) education is largely out of reach for this cohort, 2) that is, if you make it to 18 without getting shot, 3) so now they're coming for this generation's retirement.

    She's scary in her soft-mannered, but malevolent appeal. 

    • Moonbat – the tax cuts sunset automatically in 2027. The GOP has to control the House, Senate, and WH to pass (or renew) the tax cuts by a straight majority. (Reconciliation.) If it looks like Trump can't win in the General in '24, the movers and shakers on K Street will come under considerable pressure to make sure an electable Republican wins the GOP nomination. IMO, this is much more on the minds of big money than SS & Medicare.

  4. McCarthy chiding Biden over not negotiating the debt ceiling reminds me of Putin chiding Zelinskyy for not not 'negotiating" peace in Ukraine. In both cases, they are calling for concessions they are not entitled to. Putin wants free-and-clear title to Crimea and Dunbass, which are not the property of Russia. Kevin thinks the Democrats will roll over and abandon programs for the people at the lower rungs of the ladder in exchange for Republicans not tanking the economy. 

    Biden won't bargain over the debt ceiling. He will negotiate over the budget. Biden established his opening negotiating position with his budget, which was heavy with tax increases on people over 400K and on corporations. IMO, Biden will cut in some places if the GOP will sign on to some tax increases. The new taxes wouldn't affect many voters, as a percent of voters. Overall, there will be some unpopular cuts. In other words, the GOP parts of a compromise would be the least popular, which becomes a Democratic plank in the next election. (We need to restore programs and pay for them with MORE tax increases on the ultra-rich.) 

    This is not the kind of negotiating the GOP will engage in. If Biden does not blink, the GOP is gonna take the blame for the crash. And there will be a crash. 

    OT: The Mouse outfoxed the Meatball. (I am not sure if that's a mixed metaphor or what. It's bad which is why I like it.)

    • I love the provision on pronoun usage in Disney's covenant agreement.

      "pronouns in this declaration which are used in any particular gender shall be deemed to include any other gender."

       I guess that's what they call nailing it down.


Comments are closed.