“The people's House is back in business,” Speaker Mike Johnson said Wednesday after his election ended more than three weeks of inaction by Republicans. Then House leadership announced a long—and I do mean long—weekend, with no votes on Friday, Monday, or Tuesday.
Republicans kept talking about how they needed to elect a speaker so they could do the urgent work of the House, but it doesn’t seem like there’s much urgency now. A government shutdown is just over three weeks away if the House doesn’t pass funding legislation to prevent it, but sure, take a five-day weekend.
“We got important work to do, important work to do. We need to help Israel. We need to get the appropriations process moving so that the key elements of our government are funded and funded in the right way, particularly our military. We need to get back to our committee work, and frankly, we need to continue the oversight work that I think is so darn important,” Rep. Jim Jordan said in his (unsuccessful) Oct. 20 “elect me speaker or else” press conference. “In short, we need to get to work for the American people. We need to do what we said we were going to do. We need to do what we told them we were going to do when they elected us and put us in offers. And frankly, we can't do that if the House isn't open. We can't open the House until we get a speaker.”
It was urgent to elect a speaker. Not so urgent to get back to work after doing so.
“If we don’t have a speaker, we can’t put anything on the floor and we’re paralyzed,” Rep. Michael McCaul told The New York Times, adding: “If that doesn’t wake up the members of my conference, then I don’t know what will.” That was in an article dated Oct. 10. It’s Oct. 26 and the House will be in session for one day after having elected a speaker before a five-day break. I guess the members of McCaul’s conference didn’t wake up.
”There should be a sense of urgency,” Rep. Mike Lawler told Roll Call in an article dated Oct. 9.
Three weeks of: We have important work to do. We’re paralyzed. People need to wake up. There should be a sense of urgency.
And then eh, let’s go home for nearly a week. Why start worrying about a government shutdown now?