What can the GOP House really do? (2023)

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VonByron York, Chief Political Correspondent

(Video) Speaker of the House Vote, Explained: Can Republicans Win With Kevin McCarthy? | WSJ

January 12, 2023 1:27 PM

WHAT CAN GOP HOUSE REALLY DO?On September 23, 2022, Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), then the House Minority Leader, traveled to Pennsylvania to introduce the Republican Party's mid-term campaign platform, thecommitment to america. The document is a "blueprint for a new direction," McCarthy said. "We want to launch it for you, for the entire country, so you know exactly what we're going to do if you trust us and give us a chance to start a new direction for this country."

commitment to americawas divided into four parts. The first was "A Strong Economy," which included promises to "fight inflation and lower the cost of living," "make America energy independent and lower gas prices," and "strengthen the supply chain and end dependence on China. The second part was "A Secure Nation," which included commitments to "secure the border and fight illegal immigration," "reduce crime and protect public safety," and "maintain the national security of the United States." Part Three was "A Future Built on Freedom," which included a commitment to "ensure all students can thrive and have a voice for parents," "achieve longer, healthier lives for Americans," and "address to Big Tech and demand justice". Finally, the fourth part was "Responsible Government," which included promises to "defend our constitutional freedoms," "hold Washington to account," and "restore the voice of the people."

(Video) House Republicans pass bill to cut funding for IRS

Everything looked good.The collection of promises would certainly unite all Republicans, but also many independents. And indeed, the Republican Party gained control of the House of Representatives and now McCarthy has been elected president. So it's time to return to the Commitment to America. How much of that, if any, can Republicans achieve with a five-seat majority in the House of Representatives, a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic White House?

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The answer,in terms of legislation, it is almost nothing of the kind. Of course they all knew. If the Democrats did not join the effort, and there was no chance they would accept the other party's compromise with America, House Republicans could pass bills and then send them to the Senate, where the legislation would die.

So it is with the first account.Passed by the new majority of the Republican Party - a unilateral law known as "Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act.” What the bill did, it was just one paragraph really, was rescind parts of the anti-inflation bill passed last year by 50 Democrats plus Vice President Kamala Harris that generated billions of dollars for the IRS. Hire up to 87,000 new employees, which would nearly double the size of the tax collection agency Many observers at the time, including those advocating for increased funding for the IRS, felt the amount of money given to the agency was too high . much more than necessary.

The new Republican majority in the House of Representativesreasonably want to do something about it. So they passed new legislation to reverse the massive funding increase for the IRS. Except they really can't. The Anti-Inflationary Law, bad as it is, is law. To repeal it in whole or in part, Congress would have to pass another law. That means the House of Representatives would have to approve it, the Senate would have to approve it, and the President would have to sign it. In this case it will never happen. Senate Democrats and President Joe Biden will not accept the dismantling of their key legislative achievement.

Das 87,000 IRS Agent Repeal Act past on camera221 to 210 in a perfect party line vote. All the Republicans voted in favor and all the Democrats voted against. So what House Republicans have done in this case is pass what they call a "message" bill, meaning a bill that no one thinks will become law, but rather makes a statement about what wants to make the majority party. It establishes a position on an issue, but not much else.

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Most of the Republican Partythen he moved on to the issue of abortion. Looking just at the Pledge to America, it's clear that abortion is not at the top of the Republican Party's promise list, which is dominated by the economy, national security, immigration and other issues. In fact, it is now conventional wisdom that abortion took the form of a backlash from many voters to the Supreme Court's decision.DobbsIn fact, the decision worked against some Republican candidates in the midterms. But the new majority in the House of Representatives decided to vote on the "Abortion Survivors of Live Birth Protection Act." Thischanged from 220 to 210in a near-perfect party-line vote. All the Republicans voted for him. One Democrat voted yes, another voted present, and 210 voted no. Now it goes to the Senate controlled by the Democrats. Which means the abortion measure, like the IRS agents bill, is going nowhere. That's what messaging accounts do: they get you nowhere.

all these pointsto the most important fact of the 118th Congress: Most of the Republicans in the House of Representatives were not elected to pass bills. He was chosen to disrupt Biden's agenda. He cannot issue invoices himself and cannot revoke invoices that have already been approved and signed. But he could prevent Biden and his Democratic allies from advancing the president's agenda by passing sweeping new legislation. That won't happen if Republicans control the House of Representatives. And for most Republicans, that's accomplishment enough.

McCarthy and the majority of the Republican PartyYou can do two other things. The first is to set the agenda in a way that only the majority party can do. The Republicans created a new special committee on "strategic competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party," now known as the China Committee. Thisoverwhelmingly past, 365 to 65, with 146 Democrats voting yes and just 65 Democrats voting against. The Democrats did not create such a committee when they were in power. The Republicans did. The chairperson will be Mike Gallagher (R-WI). Republicans set the agenda.

The Republican Party also foundeda subcommittee on "weaponry of the federal government." Contrary to the action of the China Committee, it passed amatch straight lineVote, 221 to 211. But the vote doesn't matter now. The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), can look at issues of great concern, even those that Democrats don't want to look at.

The second thing the new Republican majority can doYou are conducting research, which you have no doubt heard a lot about. There will be GOP-led investigations into the disaster on the US-Mexico border, the disastrous US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden administration's response to COVID, and, yes, Hunter Biden's dealings with his father. .

Then the time has come:Stop Biden's agenda. Definition of a new agenda for the Chamber with two new commissions. And delve into issues that Democrats wouldn't. That's a lot for the new GOP House of Representatives, even if it can't write new bills on its own.

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