Feehery: What House Republicans should promise when they take over

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) addresses reporters during a press conference on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 to discuss last night’s election results.
Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will most likely be nominated and elected Speaker of the House a year from now when Congress convenes in January of 2023. 

Here are ten things he should start promising that he will do when he takes the gavel from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

First, he should insist on regular order. Doing things procedurally correct won’t exactly light a fire under the GOP base, but voters instinctively understand that things have gone seriously off kilter during the reign of Pelosi. Do a real budget, devolve power back to the committees, pass the appropriations bills on time, go to real conferences with the Senate. Allow members to do their jobs and represent their constituents.

Second, he should end proxy voting. Both Democrats and Republicans have made use of this device that allows members to give their voting cards to other members while they sit at home and do who knows what. Members of Congress are paid to do their jobs by the taxpayers and they need to show up to do those jobs. 

Third, he should immediately open the House buildings and the Capitol back to visitors and those who want to petition their government, as protected under the Constitution. The fact that members have been allowed to retreat behind the walls of Congress and keep the American people largely on the outside looking in is an embarrassment to this country.

Fourth, he should promise the Democrats that they can put whatever members from their caucus on whatever committees they want. He should make clear that what Nancy Pelosi did in kicking off members of the Republican Conference from committees was an outrageous abuse of power that had no precedent in House history and will not be replicated as long as Republicans are in power. There is no need to make a martyr out of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).  Let her serve on whatever committee Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) deems appropriate. 

Fifth, he should immediately launch a special committee to find out what the hell happened with our response to the COVID-19. Why has America done substantially worse than just about any other country? Why don’t hospitals still have the capacity they need and still don’t any good treatment protocols? What kind of propaganda campaign was launched by the Chinese communists? Why were voices of those who raised real questions about the strategic direction silenced? 

Sixth, he should promise to pay the fines of those who broke autocratic rules of Nancy Pelosi, including those who refused to wear masks on the House floor and those members who refused to go through metal detectors.

Seventh, he should have the Judiciary Committee investigate what exactly happened with the violent protests of 2020, who funded those protests, how George Soros paid for the elections of prosecutors who refused to prosecute violent offenders, and how that led to the murders of the thousands of innocent civilians.

Eight, he should promise to hold Big Tech to account for stifling free speech. He should work with Democrats to find legislative solutions to break their monopoly power. He should launch an investigation into the fact-checking operations of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. What conflicts of interest were present that compelled these companies to create narratives that led to more panic and less reasoned debate when it came to our COVID-19 response? Why did Twitter ban Alex Berenson and Donald Trump?

Ninth, he should have the Budget Committee and the Appropriations Committee launch a join investigation into what happened with all the money that was shoveled out the door in 2021.  How much money was lost through fraud? How much money has been left unspent? How much did the states waste because they didn’t know what to do with it? I betcha we will find that the federal government under the Biden administration wasted hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money.

Finally, the Speaker should launch a task force, led by the Education and Labor Committee, to find out what exactly has gone wrong with our public school system. While much of this should be done at the state and local levels, the fact is that the National Education Association has an outsized influence in education policy and that influence has proven to be destructive to hopes and dreams of many young children. 

Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as communications director to former House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas), and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).

Tags Big tech COVID Dennis Hastert Donald Trump Education Hakeem Jeffries House Republican takeover Ilhan Omar Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Proxy voting regular order

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