McCarthy Risks Nuking His Oversight Bomblitz to Secure Speakers Votes
- Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, has set up a series of investigations for Congress 118.
- Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene & Lauren Boebert want to join the GOP oversight blitz.
- A GOP strategist stated that neither one of them “has shown a capability for leading an investigation.”
While passing out plum assignments to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy may get him the votes he needs, some Republicans are concerned about what it could do to the party. If the California lawmaker lets loose cannons like Lauren Boebert or Marjorie Taylor Greene, they could be responsible for his planned oversight blitz.
Jason C. Roe, a former House aide and now GOP strategist, said placing Greene, of Georgia, or Boebert, of Colorado, on the House Oversight Committee in the 118th Congress — something Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer has said is already under discussion — would be “a disaster.”
—Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) November 17, 2022
“It might feed MAGA’s political bloodthirst. But it will continue to poison Republicans with Independents and be a recurring skit, SNL,” Roe said to Insider about the likely political repercussions of assigning avid. conspiracy theoriststo work through the laundry list of investigationsMcCarthy has compiled the following data in the past two years.
Unnamed GOP lawmaker assigned to the oversight panel was similarly alarmist, telling The Washington Post“If you want your issue to be taken seriously,”
“The question is: Can Comer control some of the potential new members — like the woman from Georgia — that care less about substance and more about their Twitter profile?” The member of the Oversight Committee spoke out about the need to keep congressional investigations above board.
Boebert, Greene did not immediately reply to requests for comment on their preferred committee assignments or their investigatory priorities in the coming year. Insider has been repeatedly told by McCarthy’s office that the House GOP steering commission, which McCarthy heads, will handle assignments for Congress next year “at the appropriate moment.”
McCarthy and Comer will unleash the investigative powers of the majority power when the House Republicans take control of the chamber in January. President Joe BidenHis scandal-plagued son Hunter Biden, outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI director Chris Wray, and other perceived political enemies.
Aaron Cutler, a former House GOP leadership advisor and now partner at Hogan Lovells advised House Republicans to stop “focusing on the wrong thing” and to take responsibility for their actions if necessary.
Cutler stated that this means “knowing when it is best to let things go or let them sort of die out” as opposed to wasting time and resources on lost causes.
Demonstrating that Republicans are serious
Liz Mair, a former Republican National Committee aide, is now a public relations consultant. She believes that picking the right targets for investigation could help House Republicans increase interest in the other chamber.
Mair estimates that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Ron Johnson would be the likeliest allies — assuming things are handled properly. Johnson is the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
She wrote in an email that she believed Mitch would be supportive of looking into what happened with Afghanistan withdrawal and some of the wasteful spending. She said that even though it might be an accident, rabid partisanship can lead to good governance.
Mair stated to Insider that it was possible for people who are interested in this stuff to put genuine points on the board. These points don’t have to do with administration gigs or launchpads to bigger campaigns.
Cutler, on the other hand, stated that he sees the potential for cross-chamber and bipartisan collaboration on China-related topics like supply chain problems, Uyghur labor exploitation, and national security concerns. Cutler stated that he could envision a COVID-19 origins investigation, which is already in place. expected to skewer retiring White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, being a House project.
Whether they catch on in the Democratic-controlled Senate or not, Cutler said House GOP leaders need to produce more than a slew of investigations if they hope to remain in power past 2024.
Cutler stated to Insider that McCarthy must also set out a policy plan that sends a strong signal to the American people about how serious Republicans are about governing and leading.
Cutler stated that he would like to see the GOP win some legislative victories in the new year, including addressing the debt ceiling, fully financing the government, reauthorizing expired Federal Aviation Administration and Farm Bill agreements and putting in place some safeguards for cryptocurrency.
Roe warned that if the party decided to dedicate the next election cycle to beating up Hunter Biden, rather than fulfilling its campaign promises to fix the economy and southern border, it would ultimately fail.
“Republicans must focus on the issues that matter most to Americans on a daily level, not the pursuits past injustices,” he stated, adding that “Republicans run risk of alienating independents if their investigations in the 2024 elections are all that defines them.”
Keeping everyone entertained
Cutler predicted House leaders would ensure that any oversight efforts in the House are “serious” and “thoughtful”.
“That said, there is the real prospect for overreach — both by virtue of the topics involved and some of the lawmakers that may want to become involved,” he said.
Tossing Greene and Boebert into the mix might seem automatically disqualifying, Mair said — unless distracting them with unfettered Biden bashing frees up McCarthy elsewhere.
Mair said that neither Mair nor the other members have shown any ability to lead an inquiry. It could be a great way for them to get the headlines they want on one issue and keep them from causing trouble in other areas.
Roe warned House Republicans that spectacles are likely to occur at this point and urged them to be careful.
Roe spoke out about the lure of being in the spotlight. Roe said that the effort required to conduct a solid investigation could be a launch pad for many political ambitions.
Mair believes that producing an unimpeachable and detailed report could help others climb the ladder. However, she is quite certain that it won’t help McCarthy’s long-term future.
“Kevin McCarthy currently has the worst job in America. And I wouldn’t put any money on him surviving until 2024 — no matter what he does,” Mair said.
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