The Long National Nightmare Inflicted By The House GOP Isn’t Nearly Over

INSIDE: Burchett ... Comer ... Mullin
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) speaks during a post-Conference meeting press conference at the U.S. Capitol on November 14, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Ricky Cario... WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) speaks during a post-Conference meeting press conference at the U.S. Capitol on November 14, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

House Dems Rescue House GOP From Gov’t Shutdown

Despite the extracurricular antics I will describe further down, the House managed to avoid a government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution with more Democratic support than Republican. The Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to concur, and President Biden is expected to sign it.

A near-term disaster was averted, but this had red flags all over it.

After ousting Kevin McCarthy as speaker and spending three weeks fumbling for a replacement, the House GOP is right back where it was to begin with: unwilling and incapable of governing, eager to tear things down and engage in performative politics, and beholden to a pro-insurrection far-right fringe.

One can imagine a scenario where the turmoil of October would have had some kind of cathartic effect, forcing an internal reckoning in the House GOP and changing the underlying power dynamics. But there was no real indication that that had happened, and the funding impasse serves as powerful evidence that we remain in the same predicament as before.

While it appears that Speaker Mike Johnson’s perch is safe for now, despite doing virtually the same thing McCarthy did, the road ahead to permanent government funding sometime early next year remains as murky as it was all of 2023.

A Wild And Crazy Day On The Hill

It was a day where men fought on things that didn’t matter, folded on things that did, and congratulated themselves heartily for being jagoffs. Let’s run through the three incidents:

Elbowed In The Back!

NPR reporter Claudia Grisales unexpectedly found herself in the midst of a near-scuffle between Reps. Tim Burchett (R-TN) and Kevin McCarthy. Burchett claimed McCarthy elbowed him in the back while walking by during a hallway interview with Grisales and chased after McCarthy. Grisales trailed him and caught audio of the ridiculous exchange:

Is ‘Smurf’ The Best You Can Come Up With?

Democrats on the Chairman James Comer’s Oversight Committee are becoming more aggressive in challenging his bogus investigations, and Comer doesn’t like it one bit:

Sit The Hell Down

Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) picked a fight with Teamsters president Sean O’Brien, who was testifying before Chairman Bernie Sander’s HELP Committee:

Kudos to Sanders, whose dyspeptic orneriness was perfect for the moment.

“Stop it. Sit down. You’re a United States senator,” Sanders implored, before adding, “This is a hearing. And God knows the American people have enough contempt for Congress. Let’s not make it worse.”

Santos Fundraiser Pleads Guilty

Sam Miele, a one-time fundraiser for Rep. George Santos (R-NY), has pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge after, among other misdeeds, impersonating the then-chief of staff for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to raise funds for Santos.

No Argument Here

Trump Summons Violence Against NY Judge

Make no mistake what Trump is doing here:

Jack Smith: Trump Is Responsible For Jan. 6

The indictment of Donald Trump in the Jan. 6 case in DC was so sweeping and broad that sometimes its specific impact can be missed. For example, because it didn’t allege that Trump incited the attack on the Capitol, it was interpreted as demurring to First Amendment concerns, which is both true but perhaps misses the point.

In recent days, Smith has gone out of his way to suggest that the indictment should not be read as narrow, constrained, or limited. In the first example a few days ago, in a filing that offered a preview of the evidence Smith intends to present at trial, prosecutors revealed that they would be making the case that the rioters themselves said Trump summoned them and directed them to the Capitol and that they were following his direction.

Yesterday, Smith was even more direct: “Although the indictment does not charge the defendant with incitement to insurrection … it squarely alleges that he is responsible for the events of January 6, 2021.” That plain statement, made in a filing to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering the gag order imposed in the case, sets up a trial where Jan. 6 is front and center, not something Smith is dodging.

Fani Willis Seeks Emergency Protective Order

After the leak of proffer videos, Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis rushed to court yesterday to renew her pending request for a protective order in the case. Notably, in her filing she identified an email (Exhibit B here) in which one of the defendants’ lawyer seems to admit to having leaked the proffer videos, before retracting it in a subsequent email and claiming it was a “typo.”

State Judge Scott McAfee has scheduled a hearing on Willis’ emergency request for 1:30 p.m. ET today via Zoom. Trump and other defendants are opposed to the protective order.

Willis: RICO Trial Won’t Be Finished Before 2024 Election

“I believe in that case there will be a trial. I believe the trial will take many months. And I don’t expect that we will conclude until the winter or the very early part of 2025,” Willis said.

2024 Ephemera

  • Politico: Alaska Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom announces bid to unseat Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola
  • WaPo: Univision, the Spanish language news giant, shifts its approach to Trump
  • Politico: New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy enters US Senate race to replace Menendez


A useful analysis of the Supreme Court’s new ethics code and how it differs from other judicial ethical guidelines.

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