Gop Lawmakers Threaten To Punish Democrats If They Win Back Control Of Congress
‘When we take the majority back in 2022, I’ll make sure consequences are doled out,’ said Rep. Madison Cawthorn.
Republicans are outraged that Democrats are governing by majority rule in the House. In retaliation, they are vowing to do the same things they now decry as unprecedented and wrong.
“Never in the history of our country has a Speaker acted like such an authoritarian,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted on Thursday.
He was upset that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had rejected his request to appoint Republican Reps. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan to the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Both men voted to overturn the 2020 election results and pushed the lie that President Joe Biden only won because the election was stolen.
“Never in the history of Congress and the select committee I checked with the historian has this ever taken place, where the one party decides who’s all on the committee,” McCarthy told Fox News in a video he with his tweet. McCarthy in fact voted to give Republican then-Speaker John Boehner the exact same unilateral appointment power in 2014 for the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi.
But while House Republicans claim they are being mistreated because the majority won’t let them have their way, they are also promising to retaliate by turning the same actions they criticize now against Democrats in 2023.
How Congress Counts The Votes
Congress will meet in a joint session around 1 p.m. Eastern time, meaning both the House and Senate are together. Pence will preside over the process. He could delegate the job to another senator, but we dont expect that.
They will go through the states alphabetically. For each state, clerks sitting below Pence will hand him the envelopes, tell him the votes, and he is supposed to read them out loud. Then they move on to the next state.
There will be precautions for coronavirus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told lawmakers to stay in their offices during debate. The plan is for lawmakers to stream in to vote in small groups. And masks are required on the House floor.
Why Republicans Are Likely To Win The 2022 Mid
The public opinion in the United States may indeed be generally opposed to the Republican Party coming to power in the 2022 mid-term election, yet we should not close our eyes to the fact that the GOP is still well-positioned to take back the House and change the balance of power in its favor.
Taking a glance at what happened during recent months, it seems highly probable that the Republican party may have little to no chance to win the 2022 mid-term election. The first and the most noticeable incident that helps this idea prevail is that it was a Republican president who instead of leading the country towards peace in a time of crisis back in January, actually added fuel to the huge fire of division and riot in the U.S. and encouraged his extremist supporters to attack the Capitol Building, creating a national embarrassment that can hardly be erased from peoples memory.
To compound the puzzle, while no one can deny the destructive role the former president Donald Trump had in plotting for and leading the , in the battle of Trump against the truth, the members of the Republican party chose to opt for supporting the former at the cost of sacrificing the latter; It was on this Wednesday that Republican leaders in Congress expressed their opposition to a proposed bipartisan commission designed and created for investigating the Capitol riot that was carried out by Trumps supporters.
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What Happens If The House Has To Decide The Next President
The unlikely scenario has been discussed by the president and Nancy Pelosi.
Election year 2020 by the numbers
A bitterly divided country deadlocked in a 269-269 Electoral College tie turns to the House of Representatives to select the next president.
The unusual constitutional scenario is considered so far-fetched — it hasn’t happened since 1824 — that it was written into the plot of the fifth season of HBO comedy series “Veep” and its send-up of the political class.
But in a year when coronavirus-related voting changes could have an unpredictable impact on an already competitive presidential race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, it’s a potential, if remote, election outcome Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have openly acknowledged.
“I don’t want to end up in the Supreme Court and I don’t want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage,” Trump said of the election at a Sept. 26 Pennsylvania rally.
Pelosi fired back in a letter to House Democrats two days later, encouraging members to support candidates in “key districts” across the country.
“If Trump can’t win at the ballot box, he wants the House to deliver him the presidency,” she wrote. “It’s sad we have to plan this way, but it’s what we must do to ensure the election is not stolen.”
Republicans hold advantage in the House
Pelosi ‘prepared’ for every election scenario
Reality Check #4: The Electoral College And The Senate Are Profoundly Undemocraticand Were Stuck With Them
Because the Constitution set up a state-by-state system for picking presidents, the massive Democratic majorities we now see in California and New York often mislead us about the partys national electoral prospects. In 2016, Hillary Clintons 3-million-vote plurality came entirely from California. In 2020, Bidens 7-million-vote edge came entirely from California and New York. These are largely what election experts call wasted votesDemocratic votes that dont, ultimately, help the Democrat to win. That imbalance explains why Trump won the Electoral College in 2016 and came within a handful of votes in three states from doing the same last November, despite his decisive popular-vote losses.
The response from aggrieved Democrats? Abolish the Electoral College! In practice, theyd need to get two-thirds of the House and Senate, and three-fourths of the state legislatures, to ditch the process that gives Republicans their only plausible chance these days to win the White House. Shortly after the 2016 election, Gallup found that Republican support for abolishing the electoral college had dropped to 19 percent. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a state-by-state scheme to effectively abolish the Electoral College without changing the Constitution, hasnt seen support from a single red or purple state.
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Democratic Accomplishments Just Give Republicans Something To Undo
Yes, even if the Democratic trifecta is very likely to end next year, and even if Republicans win their own in 2024, theres no way around the fact that in an amazingly short period of time Biden and his party may wrack up a mini-New Deal that reverses many years of atavistic Republican and meh Democratic policies. That has to be an enduring blow to Republicans, right?
Maybe not so much any more. One of the benefits of being conquered by a free-spending protectionist and isolationist is that the GOP is now pretty flexible in terms of its old Reaganite core ideology. As Rand Paul just cheefully said, if Democrats raise taxes something that horrified old-school Republicans like the ugly face of sin itself theyll just lower them next time they have the power to do so! Bidens accomplishments give the opposition an agenda, which is useful at a time when it isnt exactly brimming with policy ideas. Republicans may very well embrace the most popular Biden initiatives while demonizing the ones that dont poll so well. Its an easier strategy than the one they followed in those more principled days when they lectured voters about the need for entitlement reform.
Redistricting Is The Next Step On A Path To One
The redistricting process kicked off this week in Washington. The Census Bureau released initial data from the 2020 census Monday afternoon, , which means that congressional district boundaries will soon be redrawn to account for changes in population.
These changes will probably tend to benefit the Republican Party, as conservative states will get more seats for instance, Texas will gain two seats, while New York, California, and Illinois will all lose one. Republicans are also certain to use the process to try to gerrymander themselves as many additional congressional seats as possible by leveraging their control of a majority of state legislatures. And that is just the opening tactic in a long-term strategy to abolish American democracy and set up one-party rule.
Today in Michigan, gerrymandering means Republicans enjoy a 3.4-point handicap in the state House and a 10.7-point handicap in the state Senate; in Pennsylvania, it’s a 3.1-point handicap in the House and a 5.9-point handicap in the Senate; and in Wisconsin, a 7.1-point handicap in the House and a 10.1-point handicap in the Senate.
It’s impossible to gerrymander the Senate, of course, but luckily for Republicans that chamber is inherently gerrymandered due to the large number of disproportionately white, low-population rural states that lean conservative. The swing seat in the Senate is biased something like 7 points to the right.
Republicans Will Likely Take Control Of The Senate By 2024
The usual midterm House losses by the White House party dont always extend to the Senate because only a third of that chamber is up for election every two years and the landscape sometimes strongly favors the presidential party . But there a still generally an out-party wave that can matter, which is why Republicans may have a better than average chance of winning in at least some of the many battleground states that will hold Senate elections next year . If they win four of the six youll probably be looking at a Republican Senate.
But its the 2024 Senate landscape that looks really promising for the GOP. Democrats will be defending 23 seats and Republicans just 10. Three Democratic seats, and all the Republican seats, are in states Trump carried twice. Four other Democratic seats are in states Trump won once. It should be a banner year for Senate Republicans.
What Happens If One Chamber Votes To Accept A Challenge To A States Electors
Now we are almost certainly getting out of the realm of possibility, given the numbers. But if the Senate decided to vote in favor of a challenge to a states electors, there are still many hurdles to overturning Bidens win.
The law requires both chambers of Congress to affirmatively vote to object to a states electors, which wont happen with a Democratic-controlled House.
Even if both chambers somehow agreed to accept the challenge, the tiebreaker would go to the governor of the state. And all governors in contested states have certified results that Biden won.
So even if we drift far into hypotheticals on this, there are numerous checks that would protect Bidens win.
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The Future Could Actually Be Bright For Republicans
The most common political narrative outside MAGA-land is that the Republican Party is screwed, and richly deserves the ignominious future it faces.
Until recently the GOP was a reasonably normal and intermittently successful center-right political party, not wildly different from its counterparts in other countries with a two-party system, despite some racist and militarist habits that burst into view in times of stress. But then America elected a Black president, and Republicans went a little crazy, according to those outside their circles. First they abetted a destructively antediluvian Tea Party Movement and then lurched into the arms of an evil charlatan who somehow got elected president and spent four years trashing hallowed conservative principles and losing both Congress and the White House before his disgraceful and violence-inflected departure.
Worse yet, in the face of huge demographic challenges that beg for a new approach, the Republican Party has now lashed itself to a Trumpian mast going forward, following the most consistently unpopular president in American history in his bizarre crusade to deny he has ever lost anything. Meanwhile a shockingly united Democratic Party is whipping a few decades worth of liberal legislation through Congress as Republicans whine about cancel culture and try to sell the idea that Joe Biden is actually Che Guevara.
Hope For Biden’s Agenda
For two years, the Republican-controlled Senate bottled up virtually every piece of legislation coming out of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. With a Georgia victory, that blockage has been removed.
That’s good news for Biden’s rather extensive legislative agenda – on issues like healthcare, the environment, government reform and the economy – which should be able to survive the House and at least get an up-or-down vote in the Senate.
A 50-50 Senate tie won’t mean the Green New Deal or a public health-insurance option are coming any time soon, however. There’s still the filibuster, which mandates 60 votes to pass major legislation, to contend with, and even bills that can get by with a simple majority will have to satisfy Democratic centrists like Joe Manchin of West Virginia and the two senators from Arizona.
Another round of coronavirus relief seems probable, however, including larger per-person relief payments to all Americans. A simple congressional majority can also vote to rescind any regulations the Trump administration enacted in the final months of his presidency. That will, at the very least, get the Biden presidency off on the right foot.
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The Plausible Solution: Just Win More
Whether the public sees Democratic demands for these structural changes as overdue or overreaching, the key point is that they are currently exercises in futility. The only plausible road to winning their major policy goals is to win by winning. This means politics, not re-engineering. They need to find ways to take down their opponents, and then be smarter about using that power while they have it.
They certainly have issues to campaign on. In the few weeks, we have learned that some of Americas wealthiest people have paid only minimal or no federal income tax at all. Even as the Wall Street Journal editorial writers were responding to a Code Red emergency , the jaw-dropping nature of the reportfollowed by a New York Times piece about the impotence of the IRS to deal with the tax evasions of private equity royaltyconfirmed the folk wisdom of countless bars, diners, and union halls: the wealthy get away with murder.
Of course this is a whole lot easier said than done. A political climate where inflation, crime and immigration are dominant issues has the potential to override good economic news. And 2020 already showed what can happen when a relative handful of voices calling for defunding the police can drown out the broader usage of economic fairness.
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Why This Could Stretch Well Into The Night Anyway
Trump lost about six swing states, and theyre spread out throughout the alphabet Arizona to Wisconsin. Republicans who question the election results have indicated they will try to challenge all of them. Each time theres a challenge supported by at least one member of each chamber, Congress has to split off and vote on it. Then they come back together and keep counting states. Voting will also take longer than normal because of coronavirus precautions to space lawmakers apart from each other.
What is a normally quick and easy process could get dragged into the wee hours.
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Reality Check 3: The Democrats Legislative Fix Will Never Happenand Doesnt Even Touch The Real Threats
Its understandable why Democrats have ascribed a life-or-death quality to S. 1, the For the People bill that would impose a wide range of requirements on state voting procedures. The dozensor hundredsof provisions enacted by Republican state legislatures and governors represent a determination to ensure that the GOP thumb will be on the scale at every step of the voting process. The proposed law would roll that back on a national level by imposing a raft of requirements on statesno excuse absentee voting, more days and hours to votebut would also include public financing of campaigns, independent redistricting commissions and compulsory release of presidential candidates’ tax returns.
There are all sorts of Constitutional questions posed by these ideas. But theres a more fundamental issue here: The Constitutional clause on which the Democrats are relyingArticle I, Section 4, Clause 1gives Congress significant power over Congressional elections, but none over elections for state offices or the choosing of Presidential electors.
How Challenges To States Electors Will Work
For a challenge to proceed, at least one lawmaker from each chamber must object to a states electors. More than two dozen House Republicans have said they will try to challenge results, and a dozen GOP senators will join them even though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged senators to stay away from this.
Lawmakers dont have to give a detailed explanation of why they object; they just object in writing, which Pence will read out loud.
If theres an objection to a states electors raised by both a House and Senate lawmaker, the chambers have to split up and vote on that objection. Most of this will be done silently, save for Pence reading out loud the objections.
They have up to two hours to debate each one. That means there will be simultaneous debates in the House and Senate. We expect congressional leaders in both chambers to move to put down the challenges as quickly as possible. In the House, Pelosi will let lawmakers from the states being challenged do the speaking on the Democratic side.