By George Rasley
Last week’s battle on the House Floor wasn’t over who should be Speaker, it was over the House Rules, and the reason it looked like it was a personal battle against House Republican
Leader Kevin McCarthy is because he refused to commit to the Rules changes requested by conservatives.
And as we noted in our column “Twenty Conservative Heroes Hold The Swamp At Bay” Kevin McCarthy could have been elected Speaker on Day 1 of the new Congress if he would have accepted all or even most of the Rules changes requested by the conservative bloc in the House.
This is what’s called negotiation and it happens every day in Congress, and it is still not entirely clear to us why it took a week of increasingly hostile public statements and 15 ballots for the parties to get together and come to an agreement, but here we are – Kevin McCarthy is Speaker and the Rules package, with his support, will be voted on today.
In an interview with Roger L. Simon of the Epoch Times, Rep. Andrew Ogles, one of the 20 conservative heroes who would not vote for Kevin McCarthy until the new rules were agreed, summarized them this way:
As has been reported, it will only take a single congressperson, acting in what is known as a Jeffersonian Motion, to move to remove the speaker if he or she goes back on their word or policy agenda.
A “Church”-style committee will be convened to look into the weaponization of the FBI and other government organizations (presumably the CIA, the subject of the original Church Committee) against the American people.
Term limits will be put up for a vote.
Bills presented to Congress will be single subject, not omnibus with all the attendant earmarks, and there will be a 72-hour minimum period to read them.
The Texas Border Plan will be put before Congress. From The Hill: “The four-pronged plan aims to ‘Complete Physical Border Infrastructure,’ ‘Fix Border Enforcement Policies,’ ‘Enforce our Laws in the Interior’ and ‘Target Cartels & Criminal Organizations.’”
COVID mandates will be ended, as will all funding for them, including so-called emergency funding.
Budget bills would stop the endless increases in the debt ceiling and hold the Senate accountable for the same.
While the new Rules reduce some of the power Speakers have accumulated over the past decade or so, the changes and commitments are good for all Republicans and the GOP brand.
Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, one of the 20 patriots explained the results of the showdown on the Floor this way in an email to supporters: Congress begins with an unprecedented win for “We the People.”
We have won the most open and transparent rules ever seen in the United States Congress. We have won a better budget process. And we have won a return to the constitutional process. These victories will change the course of our nation.
When this week started those of us opposed to the status quo were told we couldn’t make a difference, but we have, and we will continue to.
Our friend, Rick Manning, President of American for Limited Government, noted:
“The House rules agreed to by Kevin McCarthy will empower conservatives in the House to fight for limited government principles and fiscal sanity. The agreement to put a ‘Church-like Committee’ in the Judiciary Committee under Jim Jordan will help unravel the abuse of power by federal government intelligence agencies giving hope to the American people that these rabid dogs will be caged and shackled for a generation. America stands at a precipice where our spending threatens our economic future and the wholesale attacks on the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments by the FBI and others threaten our personal liberties.
“Our nation owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Representatives Chip Roy, Paul Gosar, Scott Perry, Byron Donalds, Josh Brecheen, Michael Cloud, Andrew Clyde, Anna Paulina Luna, Mary Miller, Ralph Norman, Andy Ogles, Dan Bishop, Andy Harris and Keith Self for fighting to end autocratic rule in the House of Representatives.”
Among the commitments conservatives negotiated is an agreement to move these seven bills:
Cooler heads in the House Republican Conference, such GOP Rep. Frank Lucas, the dean of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, looked over the final result of the week’s work and concluded it was a win for all Republicans. Lucas told the Daily Oklahoman, “The process of organizing this time was lengthy and unusual by any standard, but it’s my belief it will lead to a stronger House Republican Conference as we address the issues facing the American people created by the Biden Administration.”
Mr. Lucas, who voted for Kevin McCarthy throughout the 15 ballots, has been in Congress since 1994 and is slated to head the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, has been our friend on many conservative issues, so we take his assessment as one made in good faith.
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, one of the leaders of the opposition to Kevin McCarthy, issued a conciliatory statement after the final vote, saying in part, “While this may not have been the overall outcome that you wanted, the opposition effort still revealed a few positives. First, we deliberated as a body for the first time in a long time and showed glimpses of what a bona fide constitutional republic should look like. We ought to keep doing that. Second, we secured concessions that decentralize power from Leadership and gives power back to the people. And finally, we proved that the House Speakership is earned, not given. I look forward to working with Kevin, my Republican colleagues, and serving you in the 118th Congress.”
We think Andy Biggs summed-up the week’s work pretty well: The conservative bloc forced changes that returned the House to a more deliberative, less centralized, posture. And they will have their votes on seven key bills, as well as a select committee to investigate abuse of power by the intelligence agencies and other matters crucial to unwinding the surveillance state and securing our country against threats from Red China and across the southern border.
Of course, there is one final hurdle to keeping all this good feeling going, and that is to make sure the Rules package passes. The Capitol Switchboard is (202) 224-3121 call your Representative to demand they vote “AYE” on the entire Rules package when it comes before the House today.