Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who drools at the thought of becoming Speaker next year, warned Democrats, “When Republicans are back in charge, we will hold all of them accountable.”
He and his colleagues are gearing up for a tsunami of investigations. The Washington Post reports they’ve already sent more than 500 requests to Biden Administration agencies telling them to turn over or preserve documents. Odd for folks who think hoarding top secret files at Mar a Lago is meaningless.
Legislating will be a low priority for GOP legislators. In their campaigns and speeches around the country they’re making it clear that their real agenda is revenge for wrongs real and imagined: Ignore, Investigate and Impeach.
They’ll start by abolishing the Special Committee investigating the violent January 6 insurrection, which the Republican National Committee dismissed as merely “legitimate political discourse.” They’ll also demand dropping charges of the accused and convicted criminals alike and bestowing on them the title of “patriots.” Trump is already suggesting pardons if he gets a second term.
House Republican zealots will ignore growing bipartisan public opinion across the country and try to further restrict or even abolish and criminalize abortions. But don’t expect to replace that with improved pre-natal care or child support.
There will be pious pursuit of schools – books, curriculum, locker rooms, toilets and athletic competition — in the name of “protecting parental rights. ” Any discussion of racism will be attacked as racist unless it conforms with GOP fears of white replacement by minorities.
And of course, they will be investigating Democratic colleagues and everyone associated with the Biden administration, but their first target will be the notorious Hunter Biden. Exhibit #1 will be his laptop. His sister Ashley’s stolen diary may come up as well. That should replace the endless but fruitless Benghazi investigations which the invertebrate McCarthy confessed were actually motivated by a desire to smear Hillary Clinton, but don’t be surprised if those are resurrected.
There may also be an effort to unseat the colleague Republicans hate the most, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), the intelligence committee chairman and a prominent leader of the multiple impeachments of Donald Trump. This will be a two-fer, not only appeasing Trump but also retribution for Democrats taking away Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Georgia) committee assignments for her incendiary rhetoric, support of violence against Democrats (including executing Nancy Pelosi for treason) and for comparing COVID-19 restrictions to the Holocaust. She is a Trump and MAGA favorite and avowed “Christian nationalist” who is likely to be rewarded with a plum committee assignment, possibly even a chairmanship.
Steve Bannon, the Trump advisor convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the January 6 investigation, on his latest indictment warned committee staffers “preserve your documents, because there’s going to be a real committee, and this has to be backed by Republican grass-roots voters.”
Two favorite targets will be Dr. Anthony Fauci and General Mark Milley. Fauci, the highly respected international expert on infectious diseases who had the audacity to contradict Trump’s lies about the pandemic. His other offenses include calling for closing schools and businesses during the height of the pandemic, requiring masks, promoting vaccinations, refusing to blame it all on China and being honest with the American people.
Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has received death threats from Trump supporters for criticizing the former president, NBC reported. Look for brutal cross-examinations of the four-star general the way a drill sergeant would dress down a bumbling new recruit.
Committees will hold extensive hearings, which they will call “oversight” but will in fact be “solely to harass those conducting investigations or potential prosecutions of Trump,” wrote the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.
One of the first moves will be to impeach Joe Biden, and it will take a simple majority in the House (but two thirds in the Senate, where it will die). Six weeks after his inauguration, MTG introduced her first impeachment resolution with Reps. Mary Miller (R-Illinois) and Paul Gosar (R-Arizona), whose own family has denounced him as an extremist and an antisemite.
There will be other impeachment resolutions, and all will land in the Judiciary Committee, which could be chaired by the ultra-MAGA Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Target number two will be Attorney General Merrick Garland for the FBI raid on Mar a Lago that turned up a cache of purloined classified documents, possibly including the nuclear secrets of a close American ally (rumored to be Israel, whose defense secrets Trump leaked to the Russians on at least one occasion).
Also on the GOP hit list are Vice President Kamala Harris, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. For starters. The GOP brain trust of Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity will be adding more.
Punchbowl News suggested multiple impeachments and attacks won’t remove anyone but instead could help reelect Biden by portraying him as the victim of an extremist right wing cabal.
What little the Republican House majority is likely to do in the way of legislating will be intentional veto bait. Like making guns even more accessible. The 7,914th attempt to repeal Obamacare. Tearing down the wall of separation between religion and state and building Trump’s porous border wall. There will be bills to cut funding for “Biden’s war” in Ukraine, block tax hikes for the wealthiest, defund the FBI and IRS and shut down the EPA.
Another big topic being pushed by Republicans in this campaign season is to eviscerate Social Security, either by privatizing it or requiring it be renewed annually. Democrats are silently praying they’ll try, knowing it will help them as it did when George W. Bush tried it in 2005.
Republicans face a dilemma within their own party. Will they want to pursue a bipartisan course that will produce credible results, including legislation, they can point to as proof they can govern, or do they want to wage Trump’s wars of grievances and oppose everything Biden wants so they can declare him a failed president?
Here’s a hint: McCarthy rebuffed bipartisanship when Biden offered it over the past two years, and with a GOP caucus likely to be even more extreme next year look for more confrontation than cooperation across the aisle. That means the 3-I agenda will be front and center.