By George Rasley, CHQ Editor, 1-6-23
Yesterday’s 11th ballot for Speaker of the House in the 118th Congress produced no breakthroughs as 20 principled limited government constitutional conservative Republican
Members of the House continued to refuse to elect another DC insider, GOP leader California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, as Speaker.
And make no mistake about it, this is more than a personality contest or a small minority of the GOP Conference pursuing their personal ambitions.
What’s at stake is whether the House will be run according to the “all power to the Speaker” Rules established by Democrat Nancy Pelosi and her predecessor “Republican” Paul Ryan, or the Rules established by statesmen of both parties and over 200-years of constitutional principles.
If you want all bills written behind closed doors in the Speaker’s office by unelected 20-something staffers – vote for Kevin McCarthy.
If you want your Representative to have a say and a vote on every piece of legislation, starting with an open Committee hearing and ending with an open Rule when the bill goes to the Floor – vote for someone other than Kevin McCarthy.
And don’t buy the DC Uniparty narrative that it is “Trumpists” who oppose Kevin McCarthy, because former President Trump has endorsed Rep. McCarthy and would be very happy to maintain the status quo leadership of the Republican Party.
But that’s definitely not where the grassroots conservative activists that are the core of the Republican Party want the Party to go – they want change – in particular they want an end to the behind-closed-doors Uniparty decision-making that led to the passage of the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package, that no one read, but voted for anyway in the year-end rush.
And, while many of the Rules changes demanded by the holdouts will seem obscure to the average voter, most Americans are instinctively against the “government by crisis” way of doing business Congress has adopted.
Consider the following:
Congress has completed appropriations before the start of the fiscal year only 4 times in the past 40 years. The last time Congress completed all bills on time was 20 years ago, in 1996.
One of the goals of the House Freedom Caucus is to open the amendment process. Members differ widely in their policies, but they agree that bills on the Floor should be amendable.
In the 113th, Speaker Boehner set a record for the most “closed rules” in House history. At this point 74 bills (and counting) brought to the House floor have come under closed rules, passing the previous record of 61 under Speaker Pelosi in the 111th.
These rules prevent any member from offering amendments to the bill, typically limit debate to an hour, and offer no policy alternatives. Representatives can either take it or leave it. In other words, this process is the most strong-handed way to bring a bill to the floor. Influential members may be able to alter the bill behind closed doors before it reaches the floor, but most often rank-and-file are forced to consider the bill as its written; a straight take it or leave it proposition.
Under Speaker Nancy Pelosi the 115th Congress broke the then-record for most closed rules.
Pelosi eliminated the “motion to recommit” conservatives want it reinstated, as it had been in the House Rules since the foundation of the Republic, reportedly, Kevin McCarthy wouldn’t commit.
Ending Pelosi’s “proxy” voting, where Members of Congress give their proxies to the Speaker or party leader, thereby enhancing leadership control, and don’t have to go to the Floor or even be in Washington to cast a vote, reportedly, Kevin McCarthy wouldn’t commit.
Ending government by crisis, reinstating “regular order” is another goal of McCarthy’s opponents. Lame duck congresses used to be rare, however, since 2000 there’s been a lame-duck session at the end of every Congress, and they’ve gradually accounted for more and more of the legislature’s output. The 2014-15 lame-duck session, which ran almost to the end of the 113th Congress’ term, generated 38% of that Congress’ entire corpus of laws – second only to the late output of Nancy Pelosi’s 116th Congress reportedly, Kevin McCarthy wouldn’t commit to reestablishing regular order for Appropriations, or anything else.
And there’s much more, but space only allows us to recount the most obvious and compelling items in the case against Kevin McCarthy.
So, far from being a “clown show” or “chaos” or an “insurrection” (thank you Brian Kilmeade) what’s happening on the House floor is a fight to end government by DC insider oligarchy and enable Members of Congress to do the work the Founders envisioned – offer, debate and amend and vote on bills.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy could probably be Speaker tomorrow if he would agree to preside over the House according to the historical rules and norms in place before the imperial Speakerships of Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner and Paul Ryan. We urge conservatives to thank the twenty principled conservatives who are fighting to return the Hose to the constitutional role envisioned by the Founders:
Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.)
Rep. Dan Bishop (N.C.)
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.)
Rep.-elect Josh Brecheen (Okla.)
Rep. Michael Cloud (Texas)
Rep.-elect Eli Crane (Ariz.)
Rep. Andrew Clyde (Ga.)
Rep. Byron Donalds (Fla.)
Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.)
Rep. Bob Good (Va.)
Rep. Paul Gosar (Ariz.)
Rep. Andy Harris (Md.)
Rep.-elect Anna Paulina Luna (Fla.)
Rep. Mary Miller (Ill.)
Rep. Ralph Norman (S.C.)
Rep.-elect Andy Ogles (Tenn.)
Rep. Scott Perry (Pa.)
Rep. Matt Rosendale (Mont.)
Rep. Chip Roy (Texas)
Rep.-elect Keith Self (Texas)
The Capitol Switchboard is (202) 224-3121 call these twenty heroes and thank them for standing firm, and if your Representative is not on the list make sure to call him or her to demand that they oppose principle-free California Representative Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House. Tell them you want a conservative Speaker who will fight for conservative principles, not a principle-free insider who will cut deals with Democrats and RINOs.
SOURCE: Richard Viguerie’s Conservative HQ
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.