The House GOP's Freedom Caucus Is a More Effective 'Squad'

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  vic-eldred  •  3 weeks ago  •  44 comments

By:   Ted Rall (WSJ)

The House GOP's Freedom Caucus Is a More Effective 'Squad'
The Democratic left can learn from last week's speaker vote.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



As a progressive, I salute the 20 holdout representatives who denied Kevin McCarthy the House speakership until the 15th vote. I disagree with their conservative objectives, but their tactics were superb. They extracted substantial concessions consistent with their beliefs and their promises to constituents.

I dream that the House Democratic Caucus will someday have an analogous faction: purist, leftist, determined to force leadership to bend to their will. Finally, the progressive base of the Democrats, the majority without whom the party could never win, might have a seat at a table long dominated by corporatists.

Democrats do have Rep.   Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez   and the “Squad.” What if they were to set aside stunts such as preening for the cameras at the Met Gala and pretending to be handcuffed, and instead engaged in direct confrontation with a party leadership that snubs and ignores them?

AOC is capable of tough talk. In December 2020 she called for   Nancy Pelosi   to be replaced as speaker, demanding “new leadership.” Weeks later, she choked.

Democrats had a 222-211 advantage when Congress re-elected Speaker Pelosi in January 2021. Two Democrats voted against her and three voted “present.” The six members of the Squad—AOC and Reps.   Ilhan Omar,   Ayanna Pressley,   Rashida Tlaib,   Jamaal Bowman   and Cori Bush—would therefore have been sufficient to deny her a majority.

Progressive commentators urged them to hold out unless Mrs. Pelosi agreed to bring Medicare for all for a floor vote. They ignored these pleas because, as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez explained, “we are just an extremely slim amount of votes away from risking the speakership to the Republican Party.”

Yet the Republicans showed it’s possible to get what you want without handing the gavel to the other party. As long as the Squad members had cast votes for somebody, they could have denied any candidate a majority and forced new votes.

In the same way that Republican holdouts kept returning to Mr. McCarthy to ask for more, the Squad could have withheld their support from Mrs. Pelosi unless she gave in to their demands, such as naming them to key committees. They could have required her to upgrade the toothless Select Committee on Climate Change to a full-fledged body with subpoena power authorized to send bills to the House floor. They could have demanded floor votes on other progressive priorities like a higher minimum wage and student-loan forgiveness. Mrs. Pelosi refused to schedule votes on bills unless passage was assured. But it would have been valuable to progressives to force conservative Democrats onto the record with their opposition to popular measures.

As speaker, Mrs. Pelosi achieved the highest level of party unity since CQ Roll Call began quantifying the measure in 1956. That’s admirable only if you think politics is about party loyalty rather than ideas.

Mr. Rall is a political cartoonist, columnist and author, most recently, of “The Stringer.”


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago


Let's give them credit: They showed backbone and they got things done!

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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago

Two traitors. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1    3 weeks ago

Ya, we know, everybody is a traitor except for these guys:

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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1.2  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

[deleted] love to implicate the civil rights movement with socialism and communism. [deleted]

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.3  Ozzwald  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1    3 weeks ago
Two traitors.

With one of them being investigated as a human trafficking pedophile.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.4  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.2    3 weeks ago

Kendi had nothing to do with civil rights. He's a black supremacist.

And btw who are you calling a white supremacist?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
1.1.5  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.3    3 weeks ago

Don't think so. You really should keep up to date

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.1.6  Ozzwald  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.1.5    3 weeks ago
Don't think so. You really should keep up to date

You really should read your links before posting them.  You wouldn't look quite so silly.

Federal prosecutors have recommended not to bring charges against Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz as part of a sex trafficking investigation, The Washington Post reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

If he wasn't being investigated, why would federal prosecutors have a recommendation?

Did I say he was "charged"?  NOPE!  I said he was "investigated".

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
1.1.7  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.6    3 weeks ago

He isn't being investigated any more. Those stories were in September and NOTHING since. One would deduce that the investigation gleaned nothing and the case is dead. The "friend" that did get convicted was a liar.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.8  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.1.5    3 weeks ago

We don't come to you or vic for any truth/facts/or to be educated on anything.

I use trustworthy sources

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
1.1.9  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Tessylo @1.1.8    3 weeks ago

So CNBC, WaPo, and Politico are shit sources in your opinion. Good to know.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.10  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.1.9    3 weeks ago

Don't trust anything you put forth, zip, zero, nada, diddly squat

It just about never equates to what you allege, usually the opposite or it's irrelevant or PP&D

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.11  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.1.9    3 weeks ago

Don't put words in my mouth.

I don't go to you or him to be educated on ANYTHING

I don't go to the uneducated for ANYTHING

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.12  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.1.9    3 weeks ago

They aren't the 'shit sources' I was referring to . . .

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
1.1.13  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1.1.9    3 weeks ago

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago
They showed backbone and they got things done!

And then they caved... 

Wonder what they were promised for their votes?  Nobody is willing to admit what concessions were made.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.2.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Ozzwald @1.2    3 weeks ago
Wonder what they were promised for their votes? 

It is very transparent. You can easily look up the concessions they won. A good many of them were the norms that Nancy Pelosi destroyed.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.2.1    3 weeks ago
It is very transparent.

Then specify what ALL the concessions are...

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.2.3  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Ozzwald @1.2.2    3 weeks ago

"Newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had to make numerous concessions to win over a holdout group of populist Republicans in order secure their votes. Here are the key concessions McCarthy had to make, including what some Republican strategists say is the key one—allowing just one member to move to vacate the   speaker ’s chair, giving McCarthy a fragile grip on power.

McCarthy was   elected as the 55th House Speaker  in the early hours of Jan. 7 by a vote of 216–212.

While it normally takes 218 votes—a majority of the House—to become speaker, that threshold can be reduced if members are absent or merely vote present.

It’s precisely this maneuver that gave McCarthy his coveted win, as six Republicans voted “present” instead of “yea” in the final vote: Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Bob Good (R-Va.), and Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.).

In a 20-minute speech following the vote, McCarthy laid out his priorities for the 118th   Congress , including securing the southern border, combating “woke” indoctrination in American schools, and unleashing domestic energy production.

“We must get America back on track,” he said. “We’ll hold the swamp accountable.”

The House now plans to vote on a hefty   rules package , which includes a series of concessions that the 20 holdout Republicans pushed for.

Some GOP strategists hailed the rule changes as a major win for the House Republicans Conference—the party   caucus   for Republicans in the House of Representatives—saying it marks the first time in decades that they have independent authority from leadership.

Key Concession

McCarthy’s road to the gavel was rocky, involving 14 rounds of failed votes before the 15th round brought victory. In order to secure the support of the holdout Republicans, McCarthy had to offer a series of concessions.

Republican strategists say the key concession is found in subsection “q” of the new House rules package ( pdf ). It reinstates a centuries-old rule allowing just one member to move to vacate the speaker’s position.

Such a motion would be made via a so-called “privileged resolution,” which supersedes all other business except adjournment.

“Anyone, anywhere, any time,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said on Thursday on Capitol Hill, commenting about the power this concession grants to members to try and oust their speaker in a vote of no confidence.

Were this motion to be invoked, McCarthy would need a majority of 218 votes to remain as House speaker.

“This effectively neuters McCarthy,” attorney Jenna Ellis, who represented the 2020 Trump campaign, said in a   post on Twitter .

“The original 20 have a pact that if McCarthy does anything outside his promises, they will vote to not retain and he’s gone,” referring to the 20 holdout Republicans who were opposed to McCarthy as speaker.

Under Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a move to vacate the speaker’s chair could be made only with support from a majority of either party.

As part of his negotiations with the holdout Republicans, McCarthy first agreed to lower the number of members who could move to vacate the speaker’s chair to five—and later to just one.

McCarthy “will be the weakest speaker we’ve seen in a generation,” Rachel Semmel, former White House Office of Management and Budget communications director, said in a post on Twitter.

“This might be one of the biggest conservative victories since @DaveBratVA7th,” she added, referring to former Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who in 2014 as a Tea Party-backed economics professor delivered a major shock to establishment Republicans by defeating then House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in a primary, with Brat hammering him as soft on immigration.

While the move-to-vacate concession has received perhaps the most attention, members of the Freedom Caucus—of which most of the holdout Republicans are members—won another major compromise in the form of more seats on key committees.

Freedom Caucus Representation on Rules Committee

McCarthy has committed to giving members of the Freedom Caucus more seats on the powerful House Rules Committee.

The committee exerts tremendous power in Congress by setting the terms of debate, deciding what amendments can be added to draft legislation, and determining what gets sent to the floor—or blocked.

The Rules panel usually operates as a tool of the speaker but with more representation, conservatives will gain the ability not only to help bring key amendments to the floor on their priority issues—like government spending or abortion—but they’ll also have more opportunities to have their voices heard.

It’s unclear how many seats on the 13-member Rules panel will be given to Freedom Caucus members, with   Time reporting   that it’s four, though it did not cite a source, while   Politico reported   it’s three, citing anonymous sources.

In recent Congresses, the majority party held nine seats on the panel and the minority four.

The incoming chair of the Rules Committee, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.)   told Politico   that “we’ve had plenty of Freedom Caucus members before” and that “we’ll be fine.”

Overall, McCarthy agreed to a number of reforms in House procedures that empower the rank-and-file members and reduce the power of the speaker.

Hard Line on Debt Limit

Another of McCarthy’s high-profile concessions to conservatives contained in the draft rules package involves agreeing to replace the current “pay-as-you-go” requirements with a “cut-as-you-go” measure.

This would prohibit the consideration of legislation that increases mandatory spending within a five-year or ten-year budget window.

The draft rules package also repeals the so-called “Gephardt Rule,” setting up a separate vote on the debt limit. Currently, with the rule in place, the House automatically sends a joint resolution to raise the debt ceiling when the House adopts a budget package, with the change giving conservatives more scope to push for reduced spending.

“They’re going to say that unless they have very steep spending cuts in domestic programs … they won’t vote for it,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.)   told The Independent .

Republicans are still reeling from last month’s passage of the mammoth $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, with many objecting to both the price tag and process, with Freedom Caucus members expressing the most vehement opposition.

Spending Reduction

Two other budgetary measures in the draft rules package involve restoring a point of order against a net increase in budget authority for amendments to general appropriations bills and restoring a point of order against budget reconciliation directives that raise net direct spending.

The draft rules package also restores a requirement for a three-fifths supermajority (from a simple majority) vote on increasing the tax rate, another win for conservatives who oppose Washington’s freewheeling tax-and-spend initiatives.

Another measure involves provisions for spending reduction account transfer amendments and requires all general appropriations bills to have spending reduction account sections.

Other concessions include one that would require 72 hours before a bill could come up for a vote and establishes several panels to investigate various issues of concern, including setting up a subcommittee on “weaponization” of the federal government.

The proposal for the subcommittee comes after Republicans recently  signaled that  they want a top-to-bottom investigation of the FBI after the so-called “Twitter Files” disclosed that the agency pressured Twitter to censor Americans’ free speech.

Before the rules package can be voted on, the process requires that members are first sworn in.

“If McCarthy tries to back out of any concession, he won’t have the votes for any rules package and we’re back to a stall. Congress can’t move without a rules package affirmed,” Ellis   said in a post   on Twitter.

“Bottom line: With this rules package, the 20 have achieved an historic accountability oversight and check on leadership and the Speaker’s power,” she continued.

“I would consider this a TOTAL WIN for Gaetz & Co, the MAGA movement, and therefore America. Declare victory and let’s get to work!”




Now you've been educated!

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2.4  Ozzwald  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.2.3    3 weeks ago
Now you've been educated!

By the uneducated.  You've only listed 3, where are the others?  You've even missed the most publicized one.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2.5  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.2.3    3 weeks ago

So 'making numerous concessions' obviously involved him wearing out his knee pads and I hope he has lots of lube for all the butt hurt he must be experiencing from those concessions - that's  two

Wonder what other 'concessions' he's made and I guess that's what today's republicans/gqp are all about - what can you do for me?

So that's what the gqp is calling it these days, 'making concessions'

jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2.6  Tessylo  replied to  Ozzwald @1.2.4    3 weeks ago

jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.3  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago

Credit for what?

Being gqp dick suckers?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
1.4  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    3 weeks ago

Let's face it. It does not take very much to be more effective than the "Squad".

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
1.4.1  JBB  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @1.4    3 weeks ago

The gop's "Odd Squad"?

original

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.4.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @1.4    2 weeks ago

That's true. They spend most of their time on Twitter & Instagram.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2  seeder  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago


"House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will block the appointments of Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff, Calif., and Eric Swalwell, Calif., to the House Intelligence Committee and will seek to keep Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar off of the Foreign Affairs Committee."



It was Nancy Pelosi who set the new precedent and we thank her!

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
2.1  evilgenius  replied to  Vic Eldred @2    3 weeks ago
It was Nancy Pelosi who set the new precedent and we thank her!

Ah yes. The GOP Revenge tour continues. It doesn't matter though the results will be the same - It will piss off voters and waste time with little to no results. But hey MAGAPopulist GOP you do you.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  evilgenius @2.1    3 weeks ago
It will piss off voters

Really? It did't seem to hurt the democrats with their Jan 6th Committee in the midterms.

I think it's time to hold Joe Biden & co accountable for what they did to this country for 2 years.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
2.1.2  evilgenius  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
Really? It did't seem to hurt the democrats with their Jan 6th Committee in the midterms.

But the big red wave worked so well that the people that lost the most think they can double down on it for 2 years? Good luck with that.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.1.3  Ronin2  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

Democrat BS investigations leading to no where did so well that they extended their control of the Senate; and there was no "Red Wave" in the House at midterms.

Republicans ran on this issues at midterms; and Democrats ran on hate. Hate won easily.

Republicans are actually learning for a change.

Inflation doesn't matter; gas prices don't matter; crime doesn't matter; open borders and illegal immigrants surging in doesn't matter; housing market collapsing doesn't matter; rising interest rates don't matter; oncoming recession doesn't matter. What matters is smearing your political opponents every damn day and making it stick! Republicans have to make voters so damn sick of Brandon the Human Fuck Up Machine and Democrats by 2024 that they would rather cut their own throats than vote Democrat!

 

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
2.1.4  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  evilgenius @2.1    3 weeks ago
The GOP Revenge tour continues.

Really?  Swalwell can't get a security clearance.  Schiff is a habitual liar and can't be trusted to guard water and Omar is an antisemite on the Foreign Affairs committee..  You seriously think is revenge?

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.5  Tessylo  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

Nuts ain't it?

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
2.1.6  evilgenius  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1.3    3 weeks ago
Republicans have to make voters so damn sick of ... Democrats by 2024 that they would rather cut their own throats than vote Democrat!

Yes, thanks for confirming my point.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
2.1.7  evilgenius  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @2.1.4    3 weeks ago
Swalwell can't get a security clearance.

That didn't matter when Trump was President but whatever... If it wasn't revenge they would replace him with a Dem that could. 

Schiff is a habitual liar and can't be trusted to guard water...

Come on... if we were to bar habitual liars in Congress we wouldn't be able to field a game of solitaire. 

...and Omar is an antisemite on the Foreign Affairs committee.

Same as my reply to Swalwell - then replace her with a Dem better suited.

Will they? Doubt it. They'll give the idiots like Large Marge, Boebert and Gaetz (all of whom said anti-semetic things)

You seriously think is revenge?

We will see how many CSPAN hours are setup to investigate Biden for using his left hand to flush and/or Dem of the week bullshit they come up with. We already have an official call to impeach the head of Dept of Homeland Security. It'll be great for partisan bullshit TV but not do anything to solve immigration issues or fix the southern border.

 
 
 
dennissmith
Freshman Silent
2.1.8  dennissmith  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.7    3 weeks ago

What makes you think Biden knows how to flush?

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
2.1.9  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  evilgenius @2.1.7    3 weeks ago
That didn't matter when Trump

I see your TDS is kicking in.  Apparently you've had enough of the Koolade that you don't see the problem with these 3.  It's even laughable that you think they should be replaced with a Democrat.  What's wrong with anybody who are better fit for the positions?  

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
2.1.10  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @2.1.9    3 weeks ago

Problem is they think only a Democrat choice is the better fit with zero room for compromise.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
2.1.11  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @2.1.10    3 weeks ago

It really is sad that they don't see the problems. Especially with these 3.  Some people take "party over people" to a new level.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
2.1.12  evilgenius  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @2.1.9    3 weeks ago
I see your TDS is kicking in. 

Piss off with that TDS bullshit. He's old news. 

Apparently you've had enough of the Koolade that you don't see the problem with these 3.

I don't give a rat's ass which clown show you may be talking about. The partisan bullshit is still bullshit. 

It's even laughable that you think they should be replaced with a Democrat. 

That would be the fair thing to do, but I don't expect anyone in Congress to be fair. They are worse than grade schoolers at recess.

What's wrong with anybody who are better fit for the positions?  

Assuming they would be fair and balanced it wouldn't be, but nothing here, nor anything I've seen thus far, shows me it would be anything other than a Freedom Caucus run partisan shit sandwich. I hope I'm wrong...

 
 
 
dennissmith
Freshman Silent
2.2  dennissmith  replied to  Vic Eldred @2    3 weeks ago

The Dem double standard is still alive, especially in the heads of those who blindly follow them.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3  seeder  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago

"WASHINGTON—House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R., Ky.) renewed his request Wednesday for banking records related to members of President Biden’s family and for testimony from former Twitter executives, as Republicans newly atop House committees move to quickly initiate   investigations promised during the 2022 midterm elections .

In a letter to Treasury Secretary   Janet Yellen, Mr. Comer asked for suspicious activity reports related to transactions by Biden family members, including the president’s son,   Hunter Biden, and his brother, James Biden, along with related companies and known associates. He had requested the same materials last year, when he was in the minority on the committee. The Treasury rebuffed his request after restricting congressional access to the records. "

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
3.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Vic Eldred @3    3 weeks ago
The Treasury rebuffed his request after restricting congressional access to the records. "

But by God you can get Trump's tax records...................which turned out absoLUTELY a nothingburger hahaha

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.1.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @3.1    3 weeks ago

And they had to alter the privacy of everyone. Those morons don't understand that if you can do it to Trump, you can do it to anyone!

 
 

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