Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Whores and Ale, Bacon Time, Pirate’s Cove and The Daley Gator for the Rule Five links!

So, late Friday night, Kevin McCarthy was finally elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives.  I have some thoughts.  Here are the deals he agreed to to put him over the top:

McCarthy reportedly agreed to major concessions, convincing the holdouts to support him. “I think we hammered out a historic agreement that’s going to change the way Washington does business,” Harris told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.

Concessions reportedly include:

  • A single member can move to “vacate the chair”
  • A hard line on the debt limit
  • Votes on term limits and border security
  • McCarthy’s leadership PAC will stay out of open primaries
  • “Open rules” on spending measures, and the ability to bring up stand-alone appropriation bills
  • Discretionary spending cap
  • A commitment to set up a committee on the “weaponization” of the government

One thing I don’t see there is a requirement to allow reading time for bills; I would prefer to see six weeks but seventy-two hours is the time I’ve seen kicked around.  We’ve seen too much damage from Congress passing bills that none of the members have read.

As for the vote on term limits; I’d have to look it up but I’m pretty sure there have been court rulings that term limits for Congress would require amending the Constitution.

And a “committee on the weaponization of the government?”  What will that accomplish?  When was the last time any such committee resulted in any actual charges or convictions?  They may accomplish something with hearings; everyone with enough brains to pound sand knows that there have been manifold abuses of power on the part of the FBI alone, more than sufficient to land people in the pokey.  But I’m skeptical that anything will be done about it; in the end, it will all slide.

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, in 1849, wrote,  plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Kevin McCarthy is a creature of the Swamp, and I’m guessing not much in the Swamp will change.

We’ll see what happens now, with a (barely) Republican House and a Republican Speaker.  But my guess is that it will be more or less business as usual.