As we enter the new year, the new power structure in the Capitol, which the House Republican majority is eager to wield, is rapidly changing the political landscape.
The year, which is just over a month old, has already been marked by at least one political event that has not been seen in over a century. A shock House election that won 14 votes to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) as the new Speaker of the House. .
Early signs of a 2024 presidential race, a confidential document dispute involving President Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence, and freshman Rep. George Santos (RN. Democrats and Republicans alike are tense.
Let’s take a look at what has happened so far and how it will affect politics next year and beyond.
Split Republicans elect McCarthy as Speaker
Given that with a thin House Republican majority, McCarthy could only lose four votes to win the election, everyone in politics knew the House race would be headline.
But few predicted a week of voting and drama in the House, culminating in a failed vote late Friday night that saw McCarthy rise from his seat and pro-Trump Republican Rep. Matt. Confronted Rep. Gates (Florida) Switch his vote to yes.
Initially, McCarthy seemed likely to sink, but Gates and five other anti-McCarthy members were convinced to vote “present” on the 15th and final ballot, giving McCarthy the presidency. Secured.
The show in the House of Commons was more than the best TV reality show of the week.
This was a harbinger of how vulnerable the Republican majority would be going forward — at least if the Democrats were united in the opposition.
Politics and policies in Washington, D.C. will change with a majority in the House wanting to cut spending, win concessions to raise the debt ceiling, and change the way the House works, including a time-consuming public amendment process.
That will also change with the difficulties House Republicans are likely to experience in coming together on a difficult issue.
Competition for committee quotas highlights a slight Republican edge
House Republicans’ next tough vote could be to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Min) from his seat on the House Foreign Relations Committee.
McCarthy had vowed to remove Omar from the committee for his comments criticizing the Israeli government and US support for Israel.
There are also political payoffs. The Democratic House majority, which had just lost power, removed Congressmen Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Georgia) and Paul Gosser (R-Arizona) from their seats.
The two Republicans are now back on the committee, but Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-California) and Eric Swalwell (D-California) were blocked by McCarthy from serving on the House Intelligence Committee. There is
McCarthy is able to block two Democrats from the intelligence service on his own, but removing Omar would require a House vote, and it’s unclear if McCarthy will get a majority. McCarthy has already lost at least two of his Republican votes. He may have some other shakes as well.
Omar’s vote, assuming it happens, is yet another sign of how few Republicans in Congress can afford to lose when Republicans bring controversial measures to the floor.
It also showcases a transformed House of Representatives, with Green and Gosar regaining power on the committee after past disputes, leaving much bitterness on both sides.
Classified Documents Hurt Presidential Candidates
Do people with security clearance in Washington store confidential information in their homes or garages?
Given the separate controversies involving Biden, Pence, and former President Donald Trump, one might be forgiven for wondering.
The story began in August when the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. An inventory released by the FBI says it found 18 documents marked as top secret and dozens classified as top secret.
With the Democrats gaining momentum, the classified documents debate swirling around the former president was a major topic throughout the fall. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to investigate the matter after the 2022 midterm elections.
It came as a big surprise when the public learned that classified documents had been found in Biden’s former private residence in Washington, D.C. during his time as Vice President on January 9. More documents were later found at Biden’s home and residence in Wilmington, Delaware.
Now it’s time for Republicans to launch their attacks. Republicans questioned why the White House, despite attacking Trump, only spoke about documents discovered months after the midterm elections.News The media was also criticized by Republicans who saw the double standards.
The White House claimed there were important differences between the Trump and Biden dossier controversy, but the findings raised questions about the damage done to Biden.
And more news. Former Vice President Mike Pence also kept classified documents in his home. Pence admitted he had “made a mistake” weeks after criticizing the White House.
What does that mean for Biden, Pence, and Trump hopes for 2024? It’s hard to say for sure.
The conventional wisdom is that Pence’s findings negate the Biden dossier to some extent, and that it also prompted the appointment of a special counsel. If this issue comes to voters’ minds in his 2024, another candidate like Florida’s Ron DeSantis could emerge.
Meanwhile, other former presidents and vice presidents are examining those documents at home.
Happy Democrats wake up with 2024 Senate anxiety
Democrats entered January as happy as the party could be, given that they lost their House majority.
In the end, the party retained the Senate and suffered minimal losses in the House. It also won several Democratic governors.
But if Democrats were drunk after a mighty November, Republican infighting, and Trump’s post-election troubles, the Senate says the party will defend seats in troubled states across the country in 2024. I was calm against the map.
Democratic senators seeking reelection include Joe Manchin of West Virginia and John Tester of Montana. These two states are Trump’s easy win in his 2020. Both states have proven winners, but if both men decide to run for re-election, the competition will be fierce. Neither have been announced so far.
Senator Sherrod Brown (Democrat) is set to run for re-election in Ohio, another tough state for Democrats. Mr. Brown is a Democrat legend who has won in states that seem to be moving more Republican-leaning over the past decade. He’ll be tough for Republicans to take down, but he’ll be a target given the state’s trajectory.
Senator Debbie Stabenow (Democrat) announced her retirement in January to create an open-seat race to draw GOP challengers in Michigan.
There could also be competitive races in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona, where Senator Kirsten Cinema is currently independent.
George Santos is a story that keeps on giving
It is no exaggeration to say that George Santos is transforming Washington. After all, he’s just a freshman.
Santos is a political gift to the Democrats, and Republicans can point to the GOP committee assignment whenever they want to claim that the GOP is hypocritical for watching them exclude Democrats from the committee. increase.
He was a distraction for House Republicans, many of whom did not shy away from making acrimonious remarks about their new colleague. Another “bad guy”. Some called for his resignation.
It’s unclear how long Santos will enjoy a career in Washington. But as long as he’s been around, he’s likely to pose questions to House Republican leaders.