Happy New Year to all! There has already been much excitement in the political news this year: From the sad spectacle that was the election of the Speaker of the House, to the revelation that newly-elected Republican Rep. George Santos is an outright liar about basically his entire background, to the discovery of classified documents in the President's garage (and their prompt, proper handling by White House staff) -- and plenty more at the State level, which we'll write about later.
The Republican candidates for US House of Representatives campaigned on three main issues:
Inflation (which they blamed on Biden),
Crime (which they blamed on liberal Democratic city governments), and
The Border (which they also blamed on the Biden administration).
So, after they finally managed to elect the weakest Speaker ever, what were their first legislative actions? Well, of course, they were to:
Defund the IRS
Investigate the "weaponization of the Federal government" (also known as the "Insurrection Protection Committee")
and a couple of anti-abortion bills for good measure.
Fortunately, none of these will pass the Senate -- but the House Republicans are again showing that they have no interest in making policy that benefits their constituents, but rather plan to spend their time in control of the House seeking media attention, stoking MAGA outrage, and sowing chaos. With the need to raise the debt ceiling fast approaching, will hardline right-wingers take us to the brink and beyond, forcing the US to default on debt payments?
Heather Cox Richardson has written another great blog post about the first days of the 118th Congress. If you haven't subscribed to her blog yet, I heartily recommend doing so. My biggest regret is that I sometimes don't have time to read her thoughts on current events.
Read Richardson's January 11th post here.
Stay tuned for more on State-level issues. The circus (AKA State Legislature) has come to town, so there will be plenty to report on over the next few months. And AG Ken Paxton always provides good fodder for a new blog post -- his latest stunt was to sue Planned Parenthood for the return of state money that was lawfully paid to them for vital non-abortion services for Texas women. More on that later.
2023 will be a wild year in politics. We need to stay aware of what's happening, call out Republicans for their harmful shenanigans, and start preparing to vote them out in the 2024 campaigns -- some of which are already starting. If you haven't joined or renewed your membership in NSD, please sign up now so we can continue our efforts.