Monday, February 6, 2023

McCarthy: Weak leader or survivor?

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Republican Kevin McCarthy is the new speaker of the House of Representatives, but as difficult as it was for him to win a historic election, it may be hard for him to do much with that powerful position, or even Keep this.

Like the two most recent Republican House Speakers, John Boehner and Paul Ryan, McCarthy commands a rebellious and turbulent majority divided largely evenly within the party itself, among the remnants of the party’s conservatives. The rise of the Tea Party movement for Donald Trump, a new generation of Republicans and hardliners who prefer small government.

The chaos that broke out during four days of voting in the House of Representatives, and that stalled the start of the new Congress, is a prelude to a very uncertain road ahead as McCarthy tries to lead a rebellious Republican majority. are doing. Get your priorities straight and confront President Joe Biden’s agenda, and maybe even stop the government from defaulting.

“Here’s the great part: Because it took so long, now we’ve learned how to govern,” McCarthy said, indicating he was nearing victory. He entered the lower house for the first time in 2006.

McCarthy faced a weeks-long struggle to get to where she is, in a short time before the Civil War, an election for House speaker like no other. The Reluctant Coalition of 20 refused to support his presidency unless he agreed to their demands to give up some power. He was forced to submit 14 ballots before finally securing a majority on the 15th ballot, but not before a chaotic final scene of shouting between allies and holdouts forced voting into the early hours of Saturday.

In the end, McCarthy is left as a weak president who has less authority on paper than those who came before him. This is especially true because he agreed to make an important concession to the far-right: reinstating a rule that allows any legislator to make a “petition to vacate the presidency”, essentially the president. A vote to oust him from that leadership position.

But somehow, the son of Bakersfield, an oil and agricultural hub in central California, has also emerged empowered as a survivor who faced one of the most brutal power struggles in American history and who prides himself on being a political fighter. Is.

“Obviously, I love making history,” joked McCarthy at one point during the eventful week.

McCarthy staked his political career on his early support of Trump, and it was the former president who assisted him when necessary, made last-minute phone calls to holdouts and “helped get those last few votes ” When it was finally over, when McCarthy walked into the House Speaker’s office on Capitol Hill, the sign with his name was already on the wall.

He has many exams ahead of him.

Congress faces a list of bills it must pass to fund the government, supply an army for decades of war and aid to Ukraine, authorize agricultural programs and raise the country’s debt ceiling . To avoid an unprecedented federal default.

For the first time since becoming president, Biden will face a divided government, with the House of Representatives held by Republicans and the Senate still controlled by Democrats, though by a narrow margin.

Divided government could lead to a time of bipartisan compromise where the parties come together to achieve larger priorities. But this often results in political maneuvering in which situations are pushed to the limit, leading to deadlocks, confrontations and shutdowns.

House Republicans are eager to confront Biden over the White House’s handling of the US-Mexico border situation, the COVID-19 crisis and other issues, as well as the Biden investigation, his family and his government.

“I came to Washington to challenge the status quo,” Republican Bob Good of Virginia wrote in an opinion piece before casting many of his votes against McCarthy. “I intend to keep that promise.” Goode was one of six Republicans who voted “present” on the final roll call.

McCarthy has already faced some tough times in the House.

In 2011, Republicans from the Tea Party movement seized control of the House of Representatives and faced the agenda of President Barack Obama and his Vice President, Biden. The movement opposed the political establishment in Washington and espoused a conservative and moderate philosophy, advocating low spending, low taxes, and reduction of the national debt and budget deficit.

McCarthy helped recruit the Tea Party generation and became the third-ranking Republican, part of the “Young Guns” along with Ryan of Wisconsin and then-Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia.

Inspired by the Tea Party, he led House Republicans in one crisis after another, with efforts to cut federal spending during the “fiscal cliff” of 2012 and a paralysis on federal spending releases in 2013, promoted health insurance by Obama in an attempt to repeal the program.

In 2015, when then-Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican who led the Liberty Caucus and later became Trump’s final chief of staff, threatened a “resolution to vacate the presidency”—the Speaker of the House Boehner chose early retirement – a vote to oust.

McCarthy tried to replace Boehner, but gave up when it became clear that he would not have the support of the Tories. Ryan got the job. But he too retired during the Trump era.

Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who recently vacated the House presidency, overruled the “vacate the presidency” rule when Democrats regained the majority in 2019. Pelosi, the veteran legislator who created history by becoming the first woman to serve as House speaker, led it. On the strength of experience.

McCarthy has been in office for 15 years, half the time since Pelosi first took office, and has very few legislative victories to speak of. Last week in talks with hardliners, he was forced to reinstate a “proposal to vacate the presidency” to win over the holdouts. Now they can bully you for it every day.

Republican Ralph Norman of South Carolina said, “If a CEO isn’t working, you can fire him, and the same is true in politics.”

The chaos that erupted on the floor of the House of Representatives last week could be a prelude to what’s to come in Congress.

Norman said, “What you’ve seen over the past week is the way democracy works.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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