Politics

Kevin McCarthy faces rocky first day as House speaker – live


The House will convene at 5 pm eastern time to vote on a rules package, typically a customary but crucial step for operating the chamber, but which today will serve as yet another barometer of how dysfunctional the new Republican majority will be over the coming two years.

The package governs how the House will conduct its business, and would cement many of the procedural giveaways Kevin McCarthy made to win the support of rightwing insurgents who blocked his election for days last week. However, those concessions could spark a revolt among moderates and others unhappy with the deal the speaker made, again raising the possibility of another bout of standoff and legislative paralysis.

Much of the debate centers on how the House will handle the massive spending bills Congress must periodically pass to keep the government running. The New York Times has a good rundown of the roots of this intraparty dispute:

The new House Republican majority is proposing to make institutional changes of its own as part of a rules package Speaker Kevin McCarthy negotiated with hard-right rebels in exchange for their support for his job. The handful of Republicans who are forcing the changes, which are scheduled to be considered on Monday, pointed to the rushed approval in December of a roughly $1.7 trillion spending bill to fund the entire government as an example of back-room legislating at its worst.

“What this rules package is designed to do is to stop what we saw happen literally 15 days ago, where the Democrats passed a $1.7 trillion monstrosity of a bill that spent the American taxpayers’ money in all kinds of crazy ways,” Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, said Sunday on Fox News. He said Republicans would require 72 hours to allow lawmakers to pore over any bill.

Part of the fight over the speakership was about the way Congress works, in particular the unwieldy “omnibus” spending bills that appear to materialize out of nowhere and with only minutes to spare.

But restoring any semblance of order and structure to the consideration of spending bills and other measures will prove to be extremely difficult with conservative Republicans in charge of the House and Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House. The new dynamic is more likely a prescription for shutdown and gridlock. The roots of dysfunction run deep.

Key events

Donald Trump may be the target of many investigations, but for Kevin McCarthy, the former president was a crucial part of his victory in the House speakership election.

McCarthy said as much on Saturday morning, after he’d won the gavel following a 15-vote slog, the likes of which hadn’t happened since before the Civil War:

US, Canada, Mexico condemn Brazil presidential palace attack

US president Joe Biden, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador have issued a joint statement condemning yesterday’s attack on Brazil’s congress and presidential palace by supporters of Jair Bolsonaro.

Here’s the declaration, released by the White House:

Canada, Mexico, and the United States condemn the January 8 attacks on Brazil’s democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power. We stand with Brazil as it safeguards its democratic institutions. Our governments support the free will of the people of Brazil. We look forward to working with President Lula on delivering for our countries, the Western Hemisphere, and beyond.

Georgia grand jury concludes investigation into Trump election meddling

The Atlanta-area grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn Joe Biden’s election win in the state has finished its work and been dissolved, Lawfare reports:

🚨By order of Judge Robert McBurney, the Georgia special purpose grand jury investigating 2020 election interference by Trump and his allies is dissolved. The grand jury voted to make its report public. A hearing will be held on Jan. 24 to determine if it will be published. pic.twitter.com/mMBE7b2nEY

— Anna Bower (@AnnaBower) January 9, 2023

A judge will hold a hearing on 24 January to determine whether to make its report public.

The investigation spearheaded by Fulton county’s district attorney Fani Willis is one of several legal threats to the former president, and focuses on the pressure campaign by Trump and his allies to convince state officials to undo Biden’s victory in Georgia, one of several states crucial to his White House victory.

House Republican leadership apparently does not want a repeat of last week’s dysfunction, CNN reports.

They’re racing to make sure moderate GOP lawmakers like South Carolina’s Nancy Mace support the rules package when it comes up for a vote later today, so the chamber can make a much-belated start to its lawmaking.

NEW this morning: House GOP leaders are racing to alleviate the concerns of members like Rep. Nancy Mace who said Sunday she was “on the fence” over the House Rules package, placing numerous calls and texts to the congresswoman, sources tell CNN.

— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) January 9, 2023

Republican leadership is still confident they will have the votes for the rules package, but with such little margin for error –- and this vote seen as Speaker McCarthy’s first test of whether he can govern – leaders are leaving little to chance.

— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) January 9, 2023

On the way to Mexico yesterday, Joe Biden stopped in El Paso for the first visit to the border of his presidency after last week announcing a new plan to deal with the surge in migrant arrivals that has marked his time in the White House. Here’s more from Alexandra Villarreal:

Joe Biden on Sunday landed in Texas to visit the US-Mexico border for the first time in his nearly two years as president, even as lawmakers and immigrant rights advocates have widely condemned his administration’s hardline response to the deepening humanitarian emergency there.

Biden, who is due in Mexico City this week for an international summit, made a brief stop in El Paso, a recent “ground zero” for the consequences of a US immigration system he has readily acknowledged is deeply broken.

The reliably Democratic border city in blood-red Texas has been struggling for months to triage thousands of stranded migrants and asylum seekers, many of whom have had little choice but to sleep on the streets in cold, rain, and squalor.

Biden greeted local politicians at the airport, including Texas’s rightwing Republican governor Greg Abbott, who has courted controversy with his stringent border policies, including bussing migrants to Democratic cities in the north-east. Abbott handed Biden a letter that read in part: “Your visit to our southern border with Mexico today is $20bn too little, and two years too late.”

The Guardian’s Oliver Laughland has more on the potential battle brewing in the House over this afternoon’s rules package vote:

After five days of chaos and 15 rounds of floor votes, newly elected Republican House speaker Kevin McCarthy is set to face an instant challenge on Monday as the House votes on a new rules package.

A handful of establishment Republicans indicated on Sunday they may withhold their support for the rules unless more details of concessions made to ultraconservative lawmakers during a week of torrid negotiations are unveiled.

McCarthy ascended to the speakership late on Friday after winning over support from holdout members of the hard-right freedom caucus who had leveraged their power due to the slim margin of control Republicans hold in the House.

But full details of those negotiations have not been made public, leading to speculation that McCarthy has guaranteed the group positions on key committees and thrust them further into power.

The House will convene at 5 pm eastern time to vote on a rules package, typically a customary but crucial step for operating the chamber, but which today will serve as yet another barometer of how dysfunctional the new Republican majority will be over the coming two years.

The package governs how the House will conduct its business, and would cement many of the procedural giveaways Kevin McCarthy made to win the support of rightwing insurgents who blocked his election for days last week. However, those concessions could spark a revolt among moderates and others unhappy with the deal the speaker made, again raising the possibility of another bout of standoff and legislative paralysis.

Much of the debate centers on how the House will handle the massive spending bills Congress must periodically pass to keep the government running. The New York Times has a good rundown of the roots of this intraparty dispute:

The new House Republican majority is proposing to make institutional changes of its own as part of a rules package Speaker Kevin McCarthy negotiated with hard-right rebels in exchange for their support for his job. The handful of Republicans who are forcing the changes, which are scheduled to be considered on Monday, pointed to the rushed approval in December of a roughly $1.7 trillion spending bill to fund the entire government as an example of back-room legislating at its worst.

“What this rules package is designed to do is to stop what we saw happen literally 15 days ago, where the Democrats passed a $1.7 trillion monstrosity of a bill that spent the American taxpayers’ money in all kinds of crazy ways,” Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, said Sunday on Fox News. He said Republicans would require 72 hours to allow lawmakers to pore over any bill.

Part of the fight over the speakership was about the way Congress works, in particular the unwieldy “omnibus” spending bills that appear to materialize out of nowhere and with only minutes to spare.

But restoring any semblance of order and structure to the consideration of spending bills and other measures will prove to be extremely difficult with conservative Republicans in charge of the House and Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House. The new dynamic is more likely a prescription for shutdown and gridlock. The roots of dysfunction run deep.

McCarthy’s first day on House speaker job poised to be rocky one

Good morning, US politics blog readers, and welcome to Kevin McCarthy’s first day on the job as speaker of the House. The California Republican was finally elected to the post after 15 rounds of balloting that ended in the wee hours of Saturday morning, and today he’ll take the reins of Congress’s lower chamber. On the agenda is passage of the customary rules package that determines how the House will operate this Congress, but like just about everything that has happened since last week, there’s no certainty it will pass – which could plunge the chamber into renewed paralysis. Stay tuned to this blog for the latest on the vote as it happens.

That’s not all that’s going on today:

  • Joe Biden is making the first visit of a US president to Mexico since 2014, where he’ll discuss topics ranging from trade to climate change to migration with president Andrés Manuel López Obrador. They’ll be joined later in the day by prime minister Justin Trudeau of Canada.

  • McCarthy and other top Republicans have yet to speak out against yesterday’s January 6-esque assault on Brazil’s government offices by supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro. Top House Democrat Hakeem Jeffries has condemned the attack.





READ NEWS SOURCE

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.