The House GOP Is Back On A Collision Course With Reality

INSIDE: Jim Jordan ... MTG ... Ammon Bundy
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 03: U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reacts as Representatives cast their votes for Speaker of the House on the first day of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 03: U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reacts as Representatives cast their votes for Speaker of the House on the first day of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 03, 2023 in Washington, DC. Today members of the 118th Congress will be sworn-in and the House of Representatives will elect a new Speaker of the House. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Kevin McCarthy Has A ‘Bill’

Two days ago, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) didn’t have a debt-ceiling plan or the votes. Now he has a “bill.” It remains to be seen whether he has the votes.

I put “bill” in quotes because this is a non-starter and McCarthy knows it.

It is a laundry list of far-right aspirations to rip the federal government out by its roots. The worst of the worst fringe GOP objectives – many of which Senate Republicans won’t accept – are piled together into a draft bill that will never pass the Senate or overcome a Biden veto. It might not even pass the House.

As the WaPo snarkily notes, McCarthy’s bill manages to avoid detailing the draconian spending cuts the bill calls for:

The bill would make $130 billion in cuts to discretionary spending next year — but it doesn’t lay out exactly what programs would be axed, leaving the appropriations committees to hash them out if they were to become law. (It won’t.)

Unfortunately, most of the press is going to try to shoehorn this development into the kind of normal coverage trope of legislative back and forth soon to be followed by plaintive “why can’t they all just compromise” stories. It’s not normal, ya’ll.

House Republicans, as we all know, have boxed themselves into a corner with their own supporters. Democrats are evil, and so to compromise with them is itself evil. Government is the problem, and so governing is also anathema. And so we end up with take-it-or-leave-it proposals like this one, where Republicans’ only possible position is the maximal one.

It’s a poorly camouflaged version of the burn-it-all-down rage that Trump foments, that animates GOP primary races, and that leads to things like riots at the Capitol and couping.

So here we are once again, with American politics and the world economy held hostage to the ravings of the right where the raving is the point.

MTG Gets Shut Down

Speaking of raving, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) lost it in a hearing in which the House GOP was cravenly trying to tee up DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for impeachment.

Committee Democrats, led by freshman Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-NY), succeeded in getting her words taken down and using the rules to cut off the rest of her time in the hearing.

Watch Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) squirm:

Michigan GOP In Disarray

And yet more raving …

A factional dispute inside the Michigan Republican Party turned into a physical confrontation at a patio bar Friday night on the eve of a state central committee meeting. It was captured on video:

Bragg Gets Upbraided By Trump Judge

A rough day in federal court for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is trying to block a subpoena from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, who remains intent on using his office to protect Donald Trump from criminal prosecution.

Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil ripped Bragg counsel Theodore Boutrous during a caustic hearing and then swiftly issued a written order denying Bragg’s request for a temporary injunction to block Jordan from deposing former special assistant district attorney Mark Pomerantz, who was involved in the Trump investigation before resigning last year.

Pomerantz is scheduled to be deposed this morning, so Bragg quickly appealed to the Second Circuit. Stay tuned for developments today.

Epshteyn To Meet With Jack Smith Team

Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn is scheduled to be “interviewed” by Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team today, the NYT reports.

Allen Weisselberg Set Free

Former Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg was released from Rikers Wednesday after serving about four months for his role in the company’s tax fraud scheme. He never did turn on Trump personally.

2024 Ephemera

The political media pack is going through one of its cyclical swings, now swiftly turning against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign:

NYT: DeSantis’s Electability Pitch Wobbles, Despite G.O.P. Losses Under Trump

WaPo: After high-flying start, DeSantis hits stumbling blocks on road to 2024

There’s no doubt some entertainment value in watching this implosion in the DeSantis coverage, but these are the kinds of easy sweeping conclusions that gave rise to the earlier DeSantis bandwagon coverage, too.

Proceed to enjoy with caution.

DeSantis All Powerful … Or Not?

Here’s another example of how political reporting “takes” have short shelf lives:

Tuesday in the Washington Post: “DeSantis is rapidly advancing a legislative agenda that capitalizes on a Republican supermajority to cement some of his most controversial proposals into law and remake the state to his vision.”

Thursday in Politico: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ iron-clad grip on the Republican-controlled Legislature may be slipping amid growing frustration among GOP legislators.”

It’s all in the framing.

Ammon Bundy Is In Trouble Again

Judge orders arrest of extremist Ammon Bundy for civil contempt of court.

PA Supreme Court Sanctions County

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court angrily sanctioned a rogue conspiracy-minded county for violating its order limiting outside access to the county’s Dominion voting machines.

Chris Hayes’ Universal Theory Of Everything

This is smart and worth a few minutes of your time:

Tucker Apologizes!

A salve for those bummed out by the Dominion settlement:

Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Latest Morning Memo
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: