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House Republicans Still Can't Figure Out Their Shit, Nine Days To Shutdown
McCarthy super-mad, for what that's worth.
House Republicans still can’t come to anything even resembling an agreement to keep the federal government funded after September 30. The chances of a government shutdown over Crom only knows what keep increasing as far-right Republicans refuse to agree to a short-term funding bill to keep the government running while House committees write bills to fund the US government through fiscal 2024.
Thursday, rightwingers sank the second attempt this week to pass a Defense funding bill, because fuck you is why, and instead of staying through Friday to try to get anything done, Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave up and let everyone go home for the weekend. The House voted 216-212 against a procedural rules measure to open debate on the Defense bill — and that followed a two and a half hour meeting of the GOP members that was supposed to have worked out an agreement to move the bill forward. Oopsies! (Hey, remember how Nancy Pelosi almost never held a vote on anything until she was absolutely sure she had the votes to pass it?)
In what’s obviously the reason we wrote this piece, Politico reported Wednesday that Republicans aren’t terribly happy about how the House’s dysfunction and a likely government shutdown will play with voters. Here’s the money quote, from Yr Dok Zoom’s congressional representative:
“We always get the blame,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), a senior appropriator. “Name one time that we’ve shut the government down and we haven’t got the blame.”
Gosh, Mike, the solution to that little problem seems pretty obvious to lots of folks. But thanks for your nostalgic impression of Detective Jimmy McNulty on “The Wire.”
How bad is it? Bad enough that Wednesday on Fox Digital, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) was explaining that his fellow Freedom Caucus wingnuts just have to stop goofing around and support a temporary funding bill, darn it, explaining that even the temporary bill had spending cuts, isn’t that good?
"If a Republican opposes a 30-day, 8% cut to the non-defense, non-veteran federal government with the best border security bill we've ever had attached to it, I honestly don't know what to say to my fellow Republicans other than you're gonna eat a s--- sandwich, and you probably deserve to eat it," Roy told Fox News Digital on Wednesday.
"I'm an equal opportunity basher of stupid, and I think this is stupid."
Again, how bad is it? Bad enough that also Wednesday on Fox News, Brian Kilmeade asked Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana), “Isn’t it embarrassing, though? Aren’t you embarrassed? Isn’t your party embarrassed by the way they’re acting?”
Johnson smiled like he was enjoying the most delightful bite of shit sandwich ever served and replied that sure, politics can be ugly sometimes, but isn’t it great that the House has restored “regular order” and things are working as they should? “You don’t see ‘let’s pass the bill now and read it later,’ you see the messy part of the sausage-making,” and so, with another invocation of an old old lie, everything will be fine.
But excuse me, how bad is it? Bad enough that The Bulwark reports that GOP pollster Frank Luntz was overheard telling Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan), “it’s such a shitshow.”
She agreed, repeating the description. In discussions I’ve had with House and Senate staffers this week, “shitshow” has been their preferred term to describe the state of affairs. Others have noticed the same.
Why, it’s as if the shit were running the show. Which, in a very real sense, it is: Just to dial the chaos up to 11, Donald Goddamn Trump urged his faithful followers in Congress to shut down the government, because maybe if the federal government is closed down forever, he could stay out of jail:
“Republicans in Congress can and must defund all aspects of Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government that refuses to close the Border, and treats half the Country as Enemies of the State," he wrote. “This is also the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots.”
Trump added: “They failed on the debt limit, but they must not fail now. Use the power of the purse and defend the Country!”
Sure, millions of Americans would be without necessary government services, but they wouldn’t mind as long as it helps Trump, would they?
There’s just one itty-bitty problem with Trump’s brilliant plan, as NBC News points out: It doesn’t work that way. Federal criminal prosecutions aren’t subject to government shutdowns, and no, special counsel Jack Smith’s office wouldn’t be affected either, since it has a “permanent, indefinite appropriation for independent counsels,” according to the Justice Department — it could run off funding already allocated in previous years.
Still, that’s no reason to act rationally, so loonies like Matt Gaetz (R-The Internet) want to prohibit any federal funds from going Smith’s office, and to strip federal funds from state prosecutors Fani Willis in Georgia and Alvin Bragg in New York. Not that the Senate would ever pass such amendments, but again, reality isn’t a priority with these people.
So golly, Rep. Simpson of Idaho, it’s going to be really difficult to convince people that Republicans aren’t the problem, won’t it?
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