California House Representative Kevin McCarthy was elected to the position of Republican House Minority Leader by his caucus on Wednesday morning.
McCarthy had already been serving as House Majority Leader, but the impending loss of the House Speakership by the GOP means that Minority Leader will be the most powerful Congressional position held by House Republicans.
Many had wondered if McCarthy, who was presented as the heir apparent to Paul Ryan for the speakership in the event that House Republicans had managed to maintain control of the chamber, would face a strong challenge from a Freedom Caucus member of the House GOP. McCarthy did in fact face competition for the role from Freedom Caucus stalwart Jim Jordan, but easily beat down the challenge, winning the support of House Republicans for the position in a landslide vote of 159 to 43.
McCarthy’s role in advancing the policy agenda of MAGA and President Trump remains unclear. The administration tacitly consented to his accession as chief House Republican, perhaps with the hopes that he would represent an incremental upgrade over his predecessor, Paul Ryan.
McCarthy has staked out a place for himself by appealing to both traditional Republicans and MAGA-style American nationalists and populists. In one notable policy difference from the mold of traditional House Republican leaders, McCarthy has been vocal about legislative solutions to counteract Silicon Valley Big Tech political censorship and oligarchy.
House Democrats Seeking to Restrict Attorney General Bill Barr From Any Travel Outside DC
House Democrats are seeking to ground Attorney General William Barr in Washington, D.C, by cutting off the
Democrats revealed the measure as a set of 12 goodies they intend to provide to the party’s liberal base in budget proceedings for fiscal year 2021. The DOJ budget allocation prevents the use of any federal funding “from supporting Attorney General travel outside the National Capital Region.”
Democrats are citing Barr’s investigation of federal corruption and FBI misconduct targeting the Trump campaign, fabricating claims of a wide-ranging Russian plot in order to use federal power to monitor and spy upon the candidate. Barr has made fact-finding trips to Italy in order to get to the bottom of DOJ misconduct in the matter, which apparently arouses the ire of Democrats.
House Democrats are also seeking to compel the Attorney General to testify before the Judiciary Committee.
“While these provisions are intended to force Attorney General Barr to respond to congressional oversight, it would also limit his ability to travel abroad playing detective on Trump conspiracy theories,” said Appropriations Committee spokesman Evan Hollander to the Washington Examiner.
It’s somewhat doubtful such a nakedly partisan measure will ultimately make it through the budget process, as a de facto restriction of the Attorney General to Washington D.C. would prevent oversight over the Department of Justice, one of the most important and largest departments of the federal government.
Perhaps Democrats will be inclined to up the ante when they don’t get what they want, and they’ll pass a new provision requiring Barr sit quietly in a small closet until his tenure as Attorney General is over.
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