It took a little longer than it was supposed to, but the new Congress got to work seven days ago, and as he reflects on the week, new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he’s delighted. The California Republican’s latest New York Post op-ed began:
While President Joe Biden wants to control the kind of stove Americans can cook on, House Republicans are certainly cooking with gas. It has been only one week since the 118th Congress was sworn in, and House Republicans have already shown we will keep our Commitment to America, work on behalf of the American people and deliver them a better future. This isn’t just the start of a new Congress. This is the start of a new direction in Washington.
For now, let’s put aside the fact that McCarthy’s first sentence included tiresome nonsense about gas stoves. Instead, let’s consider what House Republicans actually did in their first full week controlling the chamber since late 2018.
The new GOP majority approved a new rules package that, among other things, weakened congressional ethics rules.
House Republicans approved a bill to increase the deficit, help tax cheats, and target IRS agents who do not actually exist.
The new GOP majority created a dangerous new committee to investigate the “weaponization” of government, which will pursue ridiculous conspiracy theories, while clashing with law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
House Republicans opened the door to impeaching a cabinet secretary, while simultaneously opening the door to undoing at least one of Donald Trump’s impeachments.
The new GOP majority put an outlandish number of election deniers in charge of powerful congressional committees.
House Republicans began trying to impose new abortion restrictions, despite public sentiments on the issue.
The new GOP majority changed the names of some House committees, in part because the word “labor” hurts their feelings.
House Republicans pretended to care about the mishandling of classified materials, after spending months insisting the issue was irrelevant, while simultaneously pretending to be outraged by a gas-stove-confiscation plan that doesn’t exist.
McCarthy would have Americans see these developments as evidence of a great start, but the merits of last week’s developments is a matter of perspective.