House of Cads

So far this year in the US Congress, Democrats are generally staying out of the way and letting Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his House Republicans edge closer to making fools of themselves. In order to garner enough votes to become speaker after an unprecedented fourteen attempts, McCarthy had to bargain power away to a group of fewer than 20 right-wing extremist colleagues. Prominent among them was the newly elected (and controversial) Marjorie Taylor Greene. Despite her Georgia district benefitting economically from a solar power plant, she has vehemently opposed it. “Green” may be her name, but not her attitude. McCarthy has openly brought her on board as his close advisor, making the extremists the face of the new MAGA (Make America Great Again) Republican Party. This was originally Trump’s campaign slogan, but the two camps do not currently see eye-to-eye (see below). If McCarthy appears to have abandoned principle for power by catering to the far right, Representative George Santos hasn’t helped: stories of his lies have mounted.

Financial filings suggest quite serious financial improprieties. Santos’ campaign committee is facing new questions from federal regulators after submitting paperwork listing a new treasurer who says he never took the job.

The Federal Election Commission has asked the Devolder Santos for Congress campaign about the switch, saying “It may have failed to include the true, correct, or complete treasurer information”. It’s the latest scrutiny for the New York congressman who has been caught fabricating many elements of his life story.

As a result of all this, Senate Republicans are keeping their collective heads down while the House Republicans perform for their base. True to their right-wing principles, they are demanding big cuts in spending before they agree to raise the debt ceiling, which puts those same House Republicans in a difficult spot. They have been clear that they intend to slash Social Security and Medicare, only to have Trump, who was the one who originally insisted on using the debt ceiling to get concessions out of Democrats, recognise that such cuts are enormously unpopular and say they should not touch Medicare and Social Security. Senate Republicans have said they will stay out of debt ceiling negotiations until the House Republicans come up with a viable plan.

Meanwhile, quietly ignoring this self-destructive vaudeville act, Biden and his Democrats have quietly gone about the business of governing, creating more jobs than in any similar period in US history and replacing all jobs lost under Covid. On this side of the pond, in his recently announced strategy for UK economic recovery, Jeremy Hunt would have been better advised, had he fleshed out aspirations with some concrete measures to achieve them, such as Biden has already implemented.

#1056—454 words

About davidsberry

Local ex-councillor, tour guide and database designer. Keen on wildlife, history, boats and music. Retired in 2017.
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