The Freedom Caucus is revolting against House Majority Leader Paul Ryan and the revolt may take a sledgehammer against GOP efforts in the 2018 midterm elections. After Ryan announced his retirement, he became, in essence, a lame-duck Speaker. This has opened the door for a procedure that you do not see very often used in the House. Have you ever heard of a discharge petition? Here is why and how it will be used.
As Written and Reported By Chris Stirewalt for Fox News:
The greatest power of the majority in Congress is not to advance legislation but rather to decide which legislation will not advance. After nearly a year and a half of holding the line, though, the leadership of the 115th Congress may be about to break.
We wrote last week about the caper that the House Freedom Caucus pulled off in which they smashed a farm bill that was near and dear to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s heart. The legislation, in addition to providing the subsidies and regulations that make up the crazy quilt of American agricultural policy, included an overhaul for the food stamp program that entitlement reform crusader Ryan dearly wanted as a capstone for his soon-to-be concluded speakership.
The 30 or so members of the caucus killed the bill as punishment for leaders not bringing forward their preferred package on addressing the matter of young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as minors. The fate of these residents hangs in limbo in the courts and in the judicial and executive branches as Congress deliberates on the subject.
But it’s an election year and that always makes things stupider.
The measure backed by the Freedom Caucus probably couldn’t pass the House and would go over in the Senate like a whoopee cushion at a screening of “Schindler’s List.” And that’s okay with them since part of the appeal is forcing their fellow Republicans to vote against a bill that would be very popular with the GOP base.
Not only did the Freedom Caucus succeed in killing the speaker’s bill, but they have not only suffered no consequences for their extortive actions, they have been rewarded with ever-greater flattery and accommodation by the leadership team.
At this moment, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is working like a dog to avoid a repeat of 2015 when he, heir to the gavel, failed in his bid to succeed John Boehner. If the Freedom Caucus refuses his blandishments again this time, McCarthy knows he will meet the same fate. The fact that boosters of Majority Whip Steve Scalise have resumed their quiet efforts to position their man as the viable alternative to McCarthy is evidence of the majority leader’s precarious position.
Caucus members are going to take plenty out of McCarthy’s hide for the privilege of being speaker. Now, we would rather train bees with our bare hands than have to lead this fratricidal conference. And since McCarthy would either be presiding over a substantially narrower majority or find himself as minority leader, the privilege is dubious indeed.
While the Freedom Caucus is putting McCarthy under the lash and blowing raspberries at …..
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