Goodbye Nancy! Hello to New Rules for the Swamp

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It took 15 rounds of voting, some very determined fighting by the Freedom Caucus, and President Trump’s direct intercession but Kevin McCarthy is finally in the Speaker’s Office. This is the most it has taken for any speaker to get the job since before the Civil War. At the end of the 14th ballot, an altercation between frustrated GOP lawmakers almost got physical on the House floor.

McCarthy, who previously served as the House Minority Leader, won the position with 216 votes. The Republican Party narrowly controls the House with 222 to the Democrats’ 212. 

The Speaker’s battle allowed for a number of important conservative wishes to be granted before Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., voted “Present” allowing McCarthy to hit the number of votes required to win. Going forward, it make things tougher for the big spenders in Congress. It will make McCarthy’s task of passing bills, such as funding the government and lifting the debt ceiling, much harder under a slim majority if a group of a handful of Republicans can effectively force him out at any time.

Modern Day Church Committee to include Tom Massie

The Church Committee (formally the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) was a US Senate select committee in 1975 that investigated abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Chaired by Idaho Senator Frank Church (D-ID), the committee was part of a series of investigations into intelligence abuses in 1975, dubbed the “Year of Intelligence”, including its House counterpart, the Pike Committee, and the presidential Rockefeller Commission. The committee’s efforts led to the establishment of the permanent US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The rebel Republicans held the new Speaker’s feet to the fire and demanded a new committee to investigate the alphabet agencies, who as we know have been dealing in the dark arts to protect members of the Biden family, smear the Trump family and generally suppress the voices on the right. The idea had recently been suggested by Tucker Carlson who suggested Tom Massie, a Kentucky congressman and well-known honest broker, to sit on it.

The details

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., nominated McCarthy and Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., nominated Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y. in the 14th round of voting. Jeffries won 212 votes.

Republicans Andy Biggs of Arizona, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Eli Crane of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia, and Matt Rosendale of Montana voted “present.” 

15 Republicans changed their votes in McCarthy’s favor on Friday: Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, Chip Roy of Texas, Victoria Spartz of Indiana, Byron Donalds of Florida, Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma, Keith Self of Texas, Michael Cloud of Texas, Mary Miller of Illinois, Andy Ogles of Tennessee, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Andy Harris of Maryland.

Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana won the House Majority Leaderposition, Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota won the House Majority Whip position, and Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York was re-elected to the House conference chair position in November. 

House Democrats nominated Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York for the speaker of the House position in every round.