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HEADLINE ROUNDUP: 100 Days of Bad Press for the House GOP’s “Investigations”

Apr 13, 2023

The first 100 days of the MAGA Majority in the House have been nothing but a failure. Kevin McCarthy, James Comer, Jim Jordan, and the other Trump-Republicans in the House keep missing the mark on the investigations they promised would provide a smoking gun. They are only playing partisan, Trump-style politics to further their own extreme MAGA agenda, all while harming President Biden for purely political purposes. What do we have to look forward to for the next 100 days? More laughable, unreliable investigations from Comer and Jordan at the next stops on their political circus. 

The Hill (Opinion): A hundred days into a MAGA-controlled House, the threat to democracy is stronger than ever. “As we mark 100 days of MAGA control of the U.S. House of Representatives this week, one thing is absolutely clear: Speaker Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.), and the extreme members he has put in positions of power, appear focused on undermining our democracy, condoning political violence and opposing the rule of law in an effort to advance their extreme agenda. They call convicted criminals who assaulted the police to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power “patriots.” They are also doing everything in their power to support former President Donald Trump and giving conspiracy theorists a microphone in congressional hearings. Instead of solving the problems that keep Americans up at night, MAGA Republicans in Congress and across the country are still pandering to a fringe minority and doing everything in their power to push their extreme agenda — including eroding our rights.” [The Hill, 4/11/23]

The Nation: Representative Jim Jordan’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Hearings. “Jordan, who is now chairman of a subcommittee on the ‘weaponization’ of government against conservatives, previewed even more nefarious skulduggery. There were, he said, ‘dozens’ of federal whistleblowers who were prepared to blow the lid off the deep state, including at least 14 inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Those FBI witnesses would show how the agency was used to thwart Donald Trump and other conservatives. Indeed, once word of the hearings got out, the army of whistleblowers grew. By January, Jordan had revised the number of FBI whistleblowers up to 19. (Senator Joseph McCarthy’s numbers tended to jump around too.) Last week, in a measure of the esteem that Jordan has earned throughout his career (former Republican speaker John Boehner once called him a ‘legislative terrorist’), newbie Democratic Representative Daniel Goldman of New York openly mocked Jordan’s failure to produce anything resembling an actual scandal. ‘Apparently, this committee is no longer focused on the so-called dozens and dozens of FBI whistleblowers who were supposedly going to show some massive government conspiracy to attack conservatives,’ Goldman said. ‘Three of them have now come in for transcribed interviews—over a month ago. Where are those witnesses, Mr. Chairman? Let’s bring them in. Bring them in right here so that the American people can see for themselves what the entire basis of this subcommittee is.’” [The Nation, 4/11/23]

Bloomberg Government: House GOP Off to Bumpy Start Slowed by Debt Limit, Party Rifts. “The past few months have tested Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) strategy of ensuring all factions of his conference have a voice in crafting legislation and messaging. His more carrots and fewer sticks approach has helped Republicans pass education and energy measures. They also claimed victory after forcing Biden to accept their rejection of D.C. crime code revision. Yet the biggest hurdles lie ahead. House leaders have made little headway on their pledge to link raising the debt limit to dramatically reducing federal spending. Despite high-profile trips by GOP members to the southwest border, the party hasn’t coalesced behind a plan to curb illegal immigration and beef up border security.”  [Bloomberg Government, 4/11/23]

Vanity Fair: Alvin Bragg’s Office Tells Jim Jordan to Take a Road Trip to Ohio If He Wants to Talk About Violent Crime. “One thing you can absolutely count on, with the dependableness and predictability of death and taxes, is that the Republican Party will go to the ends of the earth to defend Donald Trump—regardless of what he’s done or how bad it makes them look by association—as if they took a blood oath in the basement of the White House the night the former guy was inaugurated. Most recently, that’s involved Marjorie Taylor Greene showing up in Manhattan on the day of Trump’s arraignment and also likening him to Nelson Mandela and Jesus Christ. This week, however, House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan grabbed the baton and announced the committee would be holding a stunt hearing in Manhattan about the “violent crime” prosecutor Alvin Bragg is supposedly allowing while unfairly holding the ex-president to the letter of the law.” [Vanity Fair, 4/11/12]

The Bulwark: Jim Jordan Takes His Clown Show on the Road. “There goes Jim Jordan, the MAGA chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and its ‘weaponization of government’ subcommittee, driving his clown car to a new town. Since February, he has hosted hearings that have flopped harder than a distracted trapeze artist. As Francis Wilkinson wrote in the Nation yesterday, Jordan doesn’t ‘seem able to manufacture a political hit for a new era.’… In other words, ‘Let’s exploit a few victims of crime for political gain.’ America, prepare for Jordan’s shameless partisan attacks on the discretion that all prosecutors deploy in deciding which crimes they can prove and which they can’t.” [The Bulwark, 4/12/23]

Washington Post (Opinion): Jim Jordan’s new stunt reveals the folly of ‘governing by Fox News’. “Who could have predicted that structuring congressional hearings around the overriding goal of generating content for Fox News would prove to be a recipe for buffoonish failure? After winning the House last November, GOP leaders threatened a wave of investigations that would expose all manner of Biden administration corruption. Since then, the results have disappointed even Republicans, who admit party leaders inflated expectations for these hearings, which they have utterly failed to meet. This dynamic has been on display again and again and again: In House GOP hearings, narratives widely echoed inside the right-wing bubble have imploded once they collide with real scrutiny.” [Washington Post, 4/13/12]

Salon: Jim Jordan fights on doggedly for his lord and master — but there’s no winning this battle. “Last week, one of Donald Trump’s apparent Jan. 6 co-conspirators, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who chairs both the House Judiciary Committee and its misbegotten Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government — which has been misfiring as badly as special counsel John Durham’s investigation of supposed wrongdoing in the origins of the Russia inquiry — announced that the Judiciary panel would visit New York next Monday to hold a field hearing on ‘Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan.’… Congress certainly has wide jurisdiction when it comes to judicial oversight, but the principle that ongoing criminal investigations in state or federal courts are off limits is well established. Nevertheless, it’s entirely possible that this lawsuit could wind its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. So goes another battle, with several more to come, between Donald J. Trump and his minions on one side, and the rule of law in the United States of America on the other.” [Salon, 4/13/12]

The Hill: 100 days in power: House GOP honeymoon may be over. “Yet as McCarthy reaches the 100-day mark of the new Congress, he’s facing down the toughest tests of his roller-coaster tenure, as Republicans brace for soul-defining battles with Biden and Democrats over raising the debt ceiling and funding the government — two crucial debates where failure brings the potential to crash an already fragile economy.Republicans are generally united behind McCarthy’s attempts to force Biden to negotiate spending cuts as a condition for raising the debt ceiling — a stipulation the president has so far refused.But their position has been blunted by internal disputes over policy priorities, behind-the-scenes tensions between McCarthy and other top Republicans and the GOP’s simple failure to coalesce around a long-term budget blueprint to counter Biden’s proposal heading into the talks… Yet GOP leaders have also struggled out of the gate with several of their highest-priority agenda items, including a border bill leaders hoped to bring to the floor in the opening weeks of the session but is now expected to start moving as part of a larger package this month.”[The Hill, 4/13/12]