House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was not a happy camper in the Republican conference meeting Wednesday morning, thanks to the latest antics of Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado’s contribution to the debasement of Congress. On Tuesday evening, Boeber introduced a privileged resolution to impeach President Joe Biden on the made-up charge that he violated his oath by not stopping illegal immigration. The charge isn’t important, it’s the mechanism that’s got McCarthy’s knickers twisted.
Under House rules, privileged resolutions bypass the regular process—and leadership’s ability to determine what goes to the floor—and have to be voted on within two legislative days. There are only two legislative days left this week before Congress heads out to celebrate July 4 for the next 19 days. So this eats up time and energy that the House can’t really afford, not that they were going to accomplish much of anything in these two days. It also exposes the whole Republican conference as a clown car, and McCarthy’s weak leadership for what it is.
Democrats said they would move to table the motion, which puts McCarthy in the position, again, of having to rely on Democrats for help, which only serves to piss off the Freedom Caucus maniacs and their allies more, which will lead to exactly what is happening now: escalation.
Greene has a raft of impeachment resolutions, and if she makes them all privileged, there’s another two weeks of work eaten up. She’s mad that Boebert upstaged her on this one, calling Boebert a “copycat.”
At the same time, Rep. Adam Schiff’s stalker colleague, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, a Florida Freedom Caucuser, is pushing a second privileged resolution to censure him. Luna has sponsored six resolutions so far this year. Five of them are about Schiff. The first privileged one failed last week when 20 Republicans joined with Democrats to table it.
Which leads to the question of just how orchestrated all this is. It doesn’t seem likely, but the Freedom Caucus might just be organized enough to be planning this in another effort to gum up the works in the House and just to harass McCarthy.
The week before last, 11 of them shut the House down by blocking a rule vote—the first time that had happened in 21 years—and refusing to agree to let it pass until McCarthy sufficiently appeased them by agreeing to renege on the debt ceiling deal he had negotiated with Biden. It’s hard to credit those people with enough organizational skills or procedural knowledge to look at what Boebert and Luna are doing as strategy, but stranger things have happened.
All of which McCarthy brought upon himself. For one thing, he’s amplified and encouraged the border hysteria. That’s despite a substantial decline in actual illegal border crossings in recent weeks. He greenlit bogus investigations of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to determine whether he should be impeached. There are at least four impeachment resolutions out there against Mayorkas, one of them from Greene. This latest from her and Boebert will likely encourage all these yahoos to make their resolutions privileged too.
Which is what got McCarthy worked up. “There was a discussion about regular order in January,” he reportedly said in Wednesday morning’s conference meeting. “And going through committee—but now we have members doing privileged motions without going through committee or even speaking with the conference.”
“What majority do we want to be?” he said. “Give it right back in 2 years or hold it for a decade and make real change. How are we going to censure Adam Schiff for abusing his position to lie and force an impeachment and then turn around and do it ourselves the next day?”
Welcome to the bed you made, Kev. Enjoy the fact that you’re going to have to rely on the Democrats to bail you out again.
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