House GOP leaders and their allies retreated on Thursday, backing off efforts to punish conservative rebels who had bucked leadership on a trade vote.
Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said he was reinstating Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) as a subcommittee chairman, just a week after he stripped him of his gavel for voting against leadership and failing to pay party dues.
And hours earlier, House GOP freshmen balked at a plot to sack their class president, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), for defying leaders amid complaints he’s been ineffective at his job.
All the backpedaling was an embarrassment for GOP leaders, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who just a day earlier had publicly endorsed Chaffetz’s decision to strip Meadows’s gavel. Both Meadows and Buck are members of the House Freedom Caucus, whose co-founders cheered Thursday’s developments.
“I think what it really means is that maybe our message is finally getting through some very thick skulls,” said one Freedom Caucus co-founder. “When you have a crisis in a family, you don’t exile people, kick people out. You have to communicate better as a family.”
Throughout the week, Freedom co-founders griped to Chaffetz and GOP leaders about Meadows’s removal as chairman. The message was clear: “This is not helpful.”
But it was a GOP conference rule that ultimately helped Meadows win his job back.
In order for Chaffetz to appoint a new chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on Government Operations, he needed support from a majority of his committee members.
The full panel, however, is stacked with many Freedom Caucus members and their sympathizers, including the group’s chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio); co-founders Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.); Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa); Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), who already experienced some of leadership’s retribution; and Buck, who was targeted by Boehner allies on Thursday.
Those members pressed Chaffetz to reinstate Meadows, threatening to block his efforts to appoint a replacement to lead the subcommittee, GOP sources said.
Category Archives: GOP
The heart of this entry is a letter I wrote in response to one specific liberal professor who made the mistake of attempting to embarrass me for holding conservative views. First let me share a little back-story. It was an online course on American Government, one that made use of a message board for class discussion and student interaction. After introductions our first assignment was to answer a question regarding freedom in America, including how and to whom it should be applied. I happily typed and posted my response, which I share here in part:
“Our Federation was founded on the ideas of Individualism, and the idea that freedom should be available to every citizen in equal measure. It was this idea that the framers of our Constitution embodied and enshrined within our system of governance. They sought to create a document that preserved and protected the idea of individual freedom by enumerating a system that not only protected the citizen but allowed the citizen to participate should he or she choose to do so.”
Being a liberal my professor could not let me, a mere student, praise the work of our nation’s founders, especially in an open forum where other students might be exposed to a positive view of them. Thus she felt it her duty to post a reply and correct my “errant” notions, and responded by stating:
“I will not usually intervene here, but I want to push you all to think about something —
Irish writes: “Our Federation was founded on the ideas of Individualism, and the idea that freedom should be available to every citizen in equal measure.” As I’m sure Irish knows, though, the Founding Fathers explicitly did not believe that freedom should be available to every citizen in equal measure. Quite the opposite. They believed that freedom should be available mostly to the wealthy, land-owning, white men. Our idea of who should be allowed to participate in this project of self-governance has evolved substantially over our history.”
A solid majority of House Republicans — 167 in all — rejected a call for GOP unity from Speaker John Boehner earlier on Tuesday, a sign of his slipping grip on power in the House after he flip-flopped to support President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty by providing funding for it.
“We all need to be team players and support each other,” Boehner told House Republicans, according to a House GOP aide, in regards to his new efforts to pass a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill that doesn’t block Obama’s executive amnesty.
That’s not exactly what even Boehner himself has done, however.
“If these guys spent half as much time fighting Obama as they do attacking conservatives, maybe we’d win,” Huelskamp said, while noting that AAN is clearly “Boehner’s group” and that the Speaker himself must be personally aware of the attack ads.
“Now, we know that Republican leadership never had a plan or even a desire to win,” Manning wrote in a piece where he detailed how Tuesday will be a day that “will live in infamy.”
“We also know that Senator Harry Reid still runs the Senate and Congress as a whole, with the minority imposing their will on the majority in an unprecedented manner,” Manning added.
As my colleague streiff wrote a while ago, (alleged) Republican Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John Boehner House Republican just pushed through a “clean” bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security and funded Barack Obama’s plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegals. Boehner has once again flipped the bird to the conservative base and shown his cowardice in the face of the Democrat meanies who threaten to throw a fit about a shutdown.
John Boehner must go. He must be replaced as House Speaker. He does not represent the interests of the majority of Americans who voted for a Republican House of Representatives and Senate and whose clear message was “oppose Barack Obama”.
Boehner and his cowardly GOP compatriots (seen in non-italics here) must be booted from the House during the next election season. As far as I’m concerned, Boehner should be campaigned against in the next primary AND the next general election, should he survive the primary. In the interim, the 167-some GOP House members who do possess some semblance of courage should immediately begin the process of removing Bohener as speaker. It’s time for the GOP representatives to shake the fear of retribution from Boehner and his co-conspirators and fight back. Committee assignments are not worth the damage that House and Senate leadership are doing to the Republican party and to the country by continuing to tolerate Barack Obama’s patently unconstitutional behavior.
I encourage you to write or call your representatives and demand that they work to remove Boehner as Speaker. The cowardice of the GOP leadership must stop now.
And here are the 75 who took the short walk with him:
2. Bishop (Mich.)
5. Brooks (Ind.)
8. Carter (Texas)
11. Collins (N.Y.)
13. Costello (Pa.)
14. Curbelo (Fla.)
15. Davis, Rodney
20. Ellmers (N.C.)
21. Emmer (Minn.)
29. Heck (Nev.)
30. Hurd (Texas)
33. King (N.Y.)
34. Kinzinger (Ill.)
43. McMorris Rogers
46. Miller (Mich.)
48. Murphy (Pa.)
56. Rogers (Ky.)
59. Ryan (Wis.)
64. Smith (N.J.)
67. Thompson (Pa.)
74. Walters, Mimi
75. Young (Ind.)
The Republicans have a serious messaging problem. Either they are totally clueless when it comes to public relations or they’re just “Democrat Lites” as they’ve been described over the years.
With the issue of funding homeland security ruling the headlines at this time, Republicans need to be talking every day whether it be news conferences, media interviews, Sunday morning news shows or speeches on the House floor, but get it out loud and clear to the public the reason why they are not defunding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), rather it is Obama that would be defunding it because of his refusal to sign a bill that includes defunding his illegal executive order on immigration.
As usual, they are letting the media and the Democrats drive the narrative and get the better of them. The Republicans have the majority of the country behind them on the issue of immigration and against Obama’s executive action to give them temporary amnesty (which of course will turn into permanent amnesty). A win of historic proportion in the 2014 mid-term election proves this is the case Now they just need to hire a really good public relations agency or find a person who has extremely good media relations skills on how to speak over and through the national media.Republicans need the mainstream media and possibly some left-leaning websites like Huffington Post to a least get out some if not all of their message. They need to start attacking not only the narratives but the premises of what the MSM is saying about an issue. For example, when they say DHS will be shut down, the Republicans should shout from the rooftops that it would only be a partial shutdown but maybe more importantly it would not be at their expense. CNS News and a small number of other sites reported this week that 200,000 out of 230,000 in DHS would still be working during a shutdown, as quoted by Steny Hoyer no less. Republicans need to get this message out far and wide, and to turn the tables on the Democrats, that they would be the ones responsible for a (partial) shutdown.Republicans continue to go by the worn-out assumption they will be blamed for a shutdown and in turn endangering the American public. Clearly this is the angle Obama and Democrats will use if it should come to that, but Republicans need to counter that in no uncertain terms that it would be just the opposite if such a scenario occurred. And to keep driving home the point the that the original bill the House passed DID include funding for DHS, just not for the part that would fund those things that needed to be done, like issuing work permits, for Obama’s illegal executive action on illegal aliens to work. John Boehner deserves credit for saying multiple times “we’ve done our job” in funding the DHS.There is no doubt that this issue along with Obamacare has shone a bright light on the Republicans questioning if they truly believe in limited government. Or are the Democrat Lites going to keep damaging the Republicans’ chances of winning the 2016 presidential election. They need to unify on their message and take the fight to the messenger day in and day out because if they continue to acquiesce to the narratives of the MSM and to their premises, they will continue to give the Democrats the advantage they need to keep them in office and keep their big government agenda alive. The day they can figure out how to really turn the tables on the MSM and get their messages through to the public at the national level, they will dominate the presidency for many election cycles to come.
It is almost unbelievable how badly Congressional Republicans have botched their opposition to President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty and the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. The House, under John Boehner’s direction, did the right thing: it passed a bill that fully funded DHS, but barred spending to implement the amnesty that has now been declared illegal by a federal court. The action then moved to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried repeatedly to bring the House measure to the floor for a vote. Four times, the Democrats filibustered the DHS funding bill.
As a result of the Democrats’ filibuster, DHS was in danger of running out of money. That put Republicans in a strong position. All they had to do was…nothing. If they didn’t blink, pressure on the Democrats to fund DHS would prove irresistible. It’s not for nothing the voters gave the GOP a majority, right?
Instead, Mitch McConnell backed off. He gave in to Harry Reid’s demands, even though Reid was surely bluffing, and the Senate passed a “clean” DHS funding bill that did nothing to block the illegal amnesty. That put the House in an untenable position. With the clock ticking down to the last hours before DHS ran out of money, it was now Republicans–not Democrats–who were standing in the way of funding the Department.
Having been sold out by the Senate, House Republicans bowed to the inevitable. John Boehner tried to pass a three-week funding extension, but didn’t have the votes. At the last possible moment, the House fell back to a seven-day extension, with Democrats providing the needed margin of support. The seven-day extension can have no possible purpose other than to give Republicans an opportunity to beat an orderly retreat.
If the Republicans wanted to arm their enemies, they couldn’t have done a better job.
Politics is like anything else: if you want to succeed, you have to be good at it. As best I can tell, Washington Republicans aren’t. We need new leadership, and we need it now.
They are still acting as though remain in the minority, retaining that cowardly mindset…
On February 27, funding for the Department of Homeland Security will run out unless Congress authorizes a new appropriation. The House passed such a bill some time ago, funding the department but denying funding for the immigration policies that President Obama instituted by executive order, despite the opinion of nearly everyone, including President Obama—22 times no less—that the president lacks the authority to issue such executive orders.
The Republican majority in the Senate has been trying to begin debate on this appropriations bill ever since. Unlike Harry Reid when he was majority leader, Mitch McConnell is willing to entertain amendments proposed by the minority and vote them up or down. The Democrats will have none of it. Three times the measure has been brought up and three times the Democratic minority has used the filibuster to prevent debate from even beginning. John Boehner, being interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, said that “… the House has done its job under the Constitution. It’s time for the Senate to do their job.”
But Wallace said:
I understand there’s two sides to the argument. Here’s the bottom line: the deadline is less than two weeks from now. And the fact is that you and Congress are going to be out on recess for the next week. Can you promise the American people with the terror threat only growing that you’re not going to allow funding for the Department of Homeland Security to run out?
Why is it up to Boehner to bend instead of the Democrats doing so? The answer is simple. As Jonah Goldberg tweeted, “So when GOP holds up things in Dem-run Senate, GOP is to blame. When Dems hold things up in GOP-run Senate, GOP is to blame. I see a trend.” Even Chris Wallace—the fairest and best of the Sunday morning talk show hosts—thinks that when push comes to shove on Capitol Hill, it is the Republicans who must yield, even when they hold majorities in both houses as they do now. Why? Because that is the way the mainstream media will always play the story.
What should Boehner do? I think he, and every Republican, should do what George H.W. Bush did to Dan Rather as the 1988 presidential race was heating up: eat the mainstream media alive. They are the enemies of the Republican Party and should be treated as such. Stop trying to curry favor because you won’t get it. Bush laid a trap for Rather, insisting on the interview being live so it couldn’t end up on the cutting room floor. It totally flustered Rather, greatly energized Bush’s campaign, put the kibosh on his too-much-a-nice-guy image, and helped mightily to propel him to the White House. Make mainstream media bias the issue. Throw loaded questions and those premised on liberal assumptions back in their faces. Accuse them of bias when they are biased. Don’t be Mr. Nice Guy.
Why have the Republicans been such wimps when dealing with the media? The reason, I think, is that the Republicans were the minority party in this country from 1932 to 1994. The Democrats held the House for all but four of those 62 years and the Senate for all but ten of those years. In far too many ways, the Republicans still act as the minority party, begging for crumbs from the media. But they now hold more political offices, at both the federal and state levels, than at any time since the glory days of Calvin Coolidge.
There is not, and has not been for a long time, a question of the existence of overwhelming liberal bias at institutions of higher education. The inquiries into the phenomenon focus on why that structural bias exists and persists. Whatever the reasons, it’s easy to understand why the liberal establishment wants to protect the biased architecture of American education.
And protect it they do. A college degree has become a kind of certification for entry into many of the higher reaches of the American economy. The government benefits from this financially by running the student-loan scheme, which drives up tuition costs and thus benefits not only big government but its liberal allies in academic administration.
And it’s a self-perpetuating cycle, which is why Democrats are so keen to guard it jealously. The system as it’s currently set up means educational attainment correlates, in general, to higher income. But that education gets increasingly expensive, which puts it in easier reach of those with higher income, who tend to have more education, etc. As the Economist notes, “the best predictor of an American child’s success in school has long been the parents’ educational level”–though money, which is also now related to educational level, “is an increasingly important factor.”
The Democrats’ approach thus perpetuates inequality, which they blame on “the rich” in order to win national office, which they use to perpetuate this system of inequality–another cycle.
Scott Walker calls this whole scheme into question. It’s not that his experience teaches that you don’t need a college degree to get a good job; it’s that you shouldn’t need to need a college degree to have professional and/or political success. Kids shouldn’t be discouraged from going to college and getting their degree as long as the current system persists, in which it usually makes sense for them to get that degree (if they can).
The point is that the system itself shouldn’t persist, at least in its current form. Walker, then, is living proof that the system can and should be reformed, and the world won’t end. Walker is representative of the potential of those outside the liberal economic elite and those who are severely underserved by the government’s college racket and union-friendly approach to education. That’s why Walker’s personal story matters, and why it’s such a threat to the left.
I have a prediction. I know its early in the presidential nominating season, but I sincerely and firmly believe that Gov. Chris Christie (R) of New Jersey will become the next Herman Cain.
Remember Cain? In the very early stages of the Republican presidential contest in 2012, Cain was riding high and thought to be presidential timber. In retrospect, what a delusional fantasy. Cain did not have any of the requisite qualifications and his personal infirmities led to a free-fall of ludicrous speed and proportions.
Now, I realize that Christie has been twice elected governor of a large state and, before that, he was a U.S. attorney. But what we have witnessed lately is a man who is obsessed with the perks of office and, by his public pronouncements, cannot and should not be taken seriously.
This week, the front page of The New York Times chronicled the expensive tastes of the governor, who insists on staying exclusively at five-star hotels worldwide and traveling on private jets paid for by billionaire benefactors.
His present trip to England has turned out to be a total disaster. This was supposed to be an excursion to burnish his foreign policy credentials. Instead, it has shades of Sarah Palin. Not one speech of significance or substance. No talking or interacting with the press covering him. In fact, The Washington Post had the seminal photo of his hand in front of his face starkly signaling “no questions,” “no comment,” as he was walking by 10 Downing Street. The only statement which he did make concerning vaccinations had to be retracted and revised.
This is a guy who loves to be noticed even for the wrong reasons. Just recently, he was in Texas desperately hugging Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys in his sky suite. Before that, there was the widely publicized shouting match with his constituents who had the nerve of wanting to know where the money was to rebuild their homes on the Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy. And before that, there was Bridgegate, an embarrassing episode that has never been fully explained.
Christie prides himself on being blunt and brassy. He so frantically wants you to pay attention to him. His persona, he believes, is his greatest asset. Just as there is a necessary judicial temperament, there is a presidential temperament. This guy doesn’t have it.
In fact, he delights in being insulting and demeaning even to the residents of his home state. His local radio show is a perfect illustration. Christie is not going to change. His appetite for controversy is insatiable. This is not a witty engaging provocateur with a light touch, but someone who comes off as a self-indulgent bully. He thinks he’s a contender, but most often he looks like a lightweight.