Opinion | The People’s House is back at it – and crazier than ever

So you think electing a new speaker can calm the chaos and fratricide among House Republicans?

Oh my sweet summer child.

This week, Congresswoman Marjory Taylor Green (R-Ga.) forced a vote in the House of Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on allegations that she is anti-Semitic. It was funny enough that the Jewish Space Lasers Congresswoman herself was blaming someone something else to be anti-Semitic. But her resolution of censure was so far-fetched — she accused Tlaib of “leading an insurgency” — that 23 Republicans joined all Democrats in introducing it.

After the vote, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) said via X, formerly Twitter, that the resolution of censure “was deeply flawed and had legally and factually unverified claims, including the claim that he led an ‘insurgency.’

Green fired back on social media: “You voted to kick me out of the Freedom Caucus, but kept CNN wannabe Ken Buck and Lauren Boebert, a peep, and you voted with the Democrats in defense of terrorist Tlaib.”

To unpack this Green madness: Congressman Ken Buck (R-Color.) criticized his fellow Republicans’ plan to impeach President Biden without any evidence, and Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) was kicked out of a Denver performance of a musical “Beetlejuice” with her date after causing a disturbance involving both vaporization and groping.

Asked about that allegation by Green, Roy said Hill’s Michael Schnell: “Tell her to go chase the so-called Jewish space lasers if she wants to spend time on that sort of thing.”

Until then, Green replied with a new post: “Oh shut up Colonel Sanders, you’re not even from Texas, more like the DMV.” Roy, who grew up in Northern Virginia, has a white goatee not dissimilar to the deceased’s chin mustache founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Ladies and gentlemen, the People’s House is working again.

In the nine days since Republicans ousted Mike Johnson from the backbenches, the new speaker has presided over a second failed attempt to oust embattled Congressman George Santos (RN.Y.), the introduction of not one but two resolutions of censure against Tlaib, and a resolution of censure Rep. Jamaal Bowman (DN.Y.) for pulling a fire alarm during a vote. Johnson managed to turn an area of ​​near-unanimous support into a partisan ruckus by making funds to help Israel defend itself against Hamas dependent on a provision that makes it easier for the wealthy to cheat on their taxes. With just two weeks to go until the federal government runs out of funds, Johnson is proposing a cool “tiered” approach that would replace the looming shutdown threat with 12 new shutdown threats.

If this is the new speaker’s idea of ​​a functioning House, maybe the House having no speakers and being down for 22 days isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Internecine feuds within the Republican Party resumed immediately after Johnson’s elevation. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason T. Smith (Mo.) publicly criticized Congressman Matt Goetz (Fla.) for causing the crisis by filing the motion to remove Chairman Kevin McCarthy (Calif.). Goetz replied – according to some speculation, hints on social media that Smith is gay. Smith “called me a liar,” Goetz wrote. “It’s a somewhat predictable forecast. Because he lives a lie every day.” Goetz declined to elaborate.

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) stepped up efforts to impeach Biden with the panel’s statement that “Joe Biden received $40,000 in laundered Chinese money.” Bank records show it was actually a repayment of a loan Biden made to his brother when the current president was a private individual.

Comer’s wild accusations continue to fall apart under scrutiny, which may explain why he said of his impeachment inquiry: “I don’t know if I want to have any more hearings, to be honest with you.” He prefers closed-door readings, which he can selectively leak to create false impressions.

Buck pointed to his colleagues’ allergy to facts when he announced this week that he was retiring from Congress. “Too many Republican leaders are lying to America by claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, by portraying January 6 as a self-guided tour of the Capitol, and by claiming that the ensuing prosecutions are a weaponization of our justice system,” Buck said in video explaining why it’s giving up. Of these “self-serving lies,” he continued, “These insidious narratives breed widespread cynicism and undermine Americans’ confidence in the rule of law. It is impossible for the Republican Party to face our problems and offer a course correction for the future while it is obsessively fixated on retribution and revenge for imagined injustices of the past.

Johnson’s response to all this: more self-serving lies. In his first interview as spokesman, he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that it “looks and smells a lot like” Biden was taking bribes. He also said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had “committed impeachable crimes” and agreed with Hannity that Biden had suffered “cognitive decline.” (At a subsequent news conference, Johnson argued that the impeachment inquiry, which Comer and others are using as a fundraising tool, is “beyond the scope of politics.”)

“People are curious. What does Mike Johnson think about every issue under the sun?” Johnson told Hannity. “Well, go get a Bible from your shelf and read it. That’s my worldview.”

How about perjury, Mr. Speaker?

This week, Johnson was caught in yet another scam by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Republicans argued that their bill offering $14.5 billion in aid to Israel was “offset” by cutting the same amount from the IRS. But CBO predicts that the IRS cuts will actually price the federal government an additional $12.5 billion—as reduced enforcement makes it easier for people to cheat on their taxes.

“Only in Washington, when you cut spending, they call it increasing the deficit,” Johnson replied to the CBO.

Apparently, only in Louisiana do they think that if you stop collecting taxes, your tax revenue will increase.

Johnson has continued to move spending bills through the House along party lines, at levels that violate the bipartisan budget deal passed this year. In the Senate, by contrast, a package of spending bills passed this week on a broad bipartisan vote of 82-15. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, warned her House colleagues to “get serious about governing, go back to the spending agreement they negotiated and work with us to finalize bipartisan bills’.

But that won’t happen. The “cuckoo of chaos” that ousted McCarthy and turned out the lights in the hall for 22 days has found its man. Johnson is about to become a spokesman for chaos.

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