Finally Approved as House Speaker, McCarthy Aims To Cut IRS Funding
After all the drama last week in Congress concerning the election of Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker, the California Republican was finally voted into the role he so desired. McCarthy’s first orders of business: getting new rules approved and rescinding funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
After 15 rounds of voting last week, McCarthy finally secured enough support on Saturday to take the House’s top leadership role. Ultimately, McCarthy wound up with 216 votes in his favor (with New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries getting 212 votes and six lawmakers, all Republicans, voting present.)
His win happened after some GOP “never Kevins”—including vocal McCarthy opponents Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Bob Good (Va.), and Andy Biggs (Ariz.)—compromised by voting present instead of no. Meanwhile, other Republicans who had been holding out were seemingly swayed by pressure from McCarthy and other colleagues plus more compromises on the House Republican rules package, which will be up for consideration today.
House Republican rules package:
—1 member can force vote to overthrow Speaker
—changes PAYGO to CUTGO
—constrains debt limit end-runs
—3/5ths vote to raises tax rates
—allows 2-min votes
—72-hrs for bills
—EdLabor —> Education & Workforce
—new COVID select cmte
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 7, 2023
Some of the process changes in the new rules seem to be undoubtedly good. For instance, the rules would require a three-fifths vote for any federal income tax rate increases and say lawmakers must have at least 72 hours to look over a bill before it’s voted upon.
In addition, “House Republicans plan to make it much more difficult to win earmarks,” notes The New York Times. “They also intend to make it much easier to cut spending and to force offsets in spending elsewhere to compensate for increases, a plan certain to encounter resistance from Democrats. And they want to couple any increase in the federal debt limit with corresponding federal spending cuts.”
McCarthy is at least off to a good start, saying the first bill to be taken up is one that would repeal a massive funding boost for the IRS that was passed as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. This was already on McCarthy’s agenda and not solely part of his deal-cutting with GOP holdouts.
Speaker McCarthy: “Our very first bill will repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents.” pic.twitter.com/nliLLxraC2
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 7, 2023
It’s also listed in the proposed rules package as one of seven bills that would be required to be brought up for a vote. These include:
(1) The bill (H.R. 23) to rescind certain balances made available to the Internal Revenue Service.
(2) The bill (H.R. 29) to authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to suspend the entry of aliens, and for other purposes.
(3) The bill (H.R. 22) to prohibit the Secretary of Energy from sending petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China, and for other purposes.
(4) The bill (H.R. 27) to amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act to direct district attorney and prosecutors offices to report to the Attorney General, and for other purposes.
(5) The bill (H.R. 28) to require the national instant criminal background check system to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the relevant State and local law enforcement agencies whenever the information available to the system indicates that a person illegally or unlawfully in the United States may be attempting to receive a firearm.
(6) The bill (H.R. 7) to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions.
(7) The bill (H.R. 26) to amend title 18,7 United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.
Clearly, Republicans don’t plan to drop panic-mongering about crime, immigrants, and abortion anytime soon.
But overall, the proposed rules suggest something of a return to focusing on fiscal issues.
Ross Douthat suggests “the Republican Party that existed before Donald Trump came along” and “the days of John Boehner battling Tea Party rebels over the debt ceiling or the fiscal cliff” are now back—for better or worse:
The failure of the “red wave” in the 2022 midterms and Trump’s subsequent diminishment have had a reverse-wave effect: It’s like watching a wall of water roll backward, exposing the old coastline, the political topography that the water covered up. Kevin McCarthy’s embarrassing struggle to claim the speakership, and the week of chaos in the House of Representatives, don’t properly belong to the Trump era. It’s the old world come again, the G.O.P. ancien regime with all its dysfunctions, stalemates and futility.
Not that the flood didn’t change the landscape. Some of the House Republicans who have bedeviled McCarthy are Tea Party throwbac
Article from Reason.com