Well, he made it. After 15 votes, a few deals, and several late nights, Rep. Kevin McCarthy was able to justify his furniture being in the Speaker of the House’s office.
There was a lot of drama — Rep. Gaetz generally being right in the center of it — and plenty of kvetching from the mainstream press that 4 days of deliberation while members from the “radical” (the left is not letting go of the histrionics any time soon) Freedom Caucus negotiated a rules package surely spoke to the chaos that was to come from an emergent GOP.
And they got downright silly about it.
Political deadlock over the House speakership has left lawmakers in the chamber without access to classified information, prompting warnings from some members that they are unable to oversee the work of intelligence agencies and the U.S. military.
Without agreement on the next speaker, House members have not been sworn in, committees have not been set up and lawmakers cannot receive classified briefings in secure rooms.
But even as the House remained at a standstill, current and former congressional staffers from both parties said warnings of a national security threat were overstated. The military, the intelligence community and the rest of the executive branch continue to operate despite the protracted fight in the House, the Senate is still able to play an oversight role on national security issues, and House staff members with security clearances remain in contact with intelligence agencies, they said.
“There are some very talented staff members down there, they will continue to get briefed by the intelligence community and will be monitoring things on a daily basis,” said Tim Bergreen, who worked as staff director of the House Intelligence Committee and chief of staff to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a former committee chair.
In the meantime, the 20 holdouts led by Texas Republican Chip Roy managed to negotiate a pretty dandy rules package that has since passed and represents a fairly even compromise between what Americans expect their GOP Reps to be fighting for — controls on spending most notably — and what the Reps really want to dig into: “Church”-style investigations into how and when the federal government seemed to be weaponized against Americans and the Republican party.
It all made for an exciting few days and knocked the absolute wind out of the “celebration” of January 6th.
Listen below. I also offer a very drowsy few words on Jordan Peele’s “NOPE” (fantastic — trailer below), and discuss the CIA’s venture into podcasting.