Cup of Joe – October 2, 2023

“Rep. Matt Gaetz, the far-right Republican from Florida, said on Sunday that he would move this week to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership post, promising to follow through on weeks of threats to oust him for working with Democrats to keep the government funded,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Gaetz’s announcement came the day after Mr. McCarthy, in a stunning reversal, steered around Republican opposition to a stopgap spending plan and turned to Democrats to help him push legislation through the House to avert a shutdown.“

Washington Post: “Gaetz said Sunday that he plans to introduce a motion to remove McCarthy from his leadership position, marking a dramatic escalation of the long-simmering tensions between the men. Once Gaetz does so, the House would have 48 hours to vote on the matter. The Florida Republican did not say when he would introduce the motion.”

“Speaker Kevin McCarthy began the final day before a government shutdown pinned against the ropes, facing dim prospects of passing any stopgap funding measure to avert the crisis that was to go into effect when the clock struck 12:01 a.m. on Sunday,” the New York Times reports.

“He ended it still on the ropes, having bucked expectations and passed a spending bill to keep the government open through mid-November — but only after being forced to turn to Democrats for help pushing through the legislation that his detractors denounced as a Republican surrender.”

“In between, there was a game of chicken between the House and the Senate over their competing stopgap spending plans, a fire alarm pulled by a progressive congressman in the Capitol complex, a 50-minute filibuster by the House minority leader as Democrats sought more time to figure out whether they wanted to help pass Mr. McCarthy’s plan, and more threats by Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida and his hard-right cohorts to call a vote to oust the speaker.”

CNN: Why McCarthy decided to take on his right flank and prevent the shutdown.

“In the span of three hours, rank-and-file Republicans bucked House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, leaving both GOP leaders weakened Sunday heading into a critical legislative period,” the Washington Post reports.

Reuters: McCarthy faces ouster threat for avoiding shutdown.

Punchbowl News: “McCarthy had a brutal few weeks. Twenty-one Republicans voted against his proposed CR on Friday, which included border-security provisions and spending cuts. He failed to pass the Agriculture spending bill. And lost the floor votes on two rules, an embarrassing setback. Given that opposition, McCarthy was stuck without the ability to move any stopgap funding bill with Republican votes only.”

“At different times, McCarthy sent signals he’d never put a clean CR on the floor, or he’d put a clean CR on the floor, or he’d amend any Senate-approved CR with a GOP border-security package bill. Two of these options would’ve guaranteed a shutdown.”

“In sum, House Republicans — led by McCarthy and his leadership — descended into chaos. McCarthy didn’t seem bothered. But his leadership team made it clear privately that it was he – and he alone – that was steering the ship.”

“We’re tired of fucking around with these whack jobs.”— A House Republican lawmaker, quoted by Politico, after Republicans conceded they needed Democratic votes to pass a government funding bill.

“If someone wants to bring a motion against me, bring it. There has to be an adult in the room.”— Speaker Kevin McCarthy, quoted by Punchbowl News, on threats that right-wing Republicans will try to oust him.

“The most surprising no vote against Kevin McCarthy’s short-term spending bill? A member of his own leadership team,” Politico reports.

“Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI), the House GOP conference secretary, was among one of the 90 GOP no votes against the so-called continuing resolution that would extend government funding at current levels through Nov. 17.”

Los Angeles Times: “Kevin McCarthy’s struggle to become House speaker should have been the most embarrassing moment in his political career. The U.S. House of Representatives had to vote 15 times before he was able to secure enough support in his party to lead the lower chamber.”

“But months later, the fight over whether to fund or shut down the federal government is the latest in a series of humiliations…”

“McCarthy’s need to rely on 209 Democratic votes to fund the government leaves him weaker than ever. Only 126 Republicans voted for the extension.”

“Speaker Kevin McCarthy called for Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) to be punished after he pulled a fire alarm in a Capitol office building on Saturday, comparing it to the Jan 6 rioters who attacked the building,” NBC News reports.

Said McCarthy: “When you think about how other people were treated when they come in and wanted to change the course of what was happening in the building.”

He added: “This should not go without punishment. I’m gonna have a discussion with the Democratic leader about it. But this should not go without punishment. This is an embarrassment.”

Sure, make Bowman apologize and even censure him. But if McCarthy wants to take it further, like expelling him, referring him for criminal prosecution or filing an ethics complaint, then Leader Hakeem Jeffries needs to tell McCarthy that such moves will result in no Democratic support on the Motion to Vacate.

“The Michigan Republican Party had about $35,000 in its bank accounts in August, according to internal records that flash new warning signs about the dire state of the GOP’s finances and raise questions about whether the organization is complying with campaign finance laws,” the Detroit News reports.

“The party has regularly transferred money from an account that’s usually focused on federal elections to other accounts to afford expenses.”

Aaron Blake: “The American right’s efforts to elevate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. were as transparent as they were cynical. The idea, as advanced by Stephen K. Bannon and the like, was clearly to try to embarrass President Biden in the Democratic primary. So they used Kennedy’s inflated early poll standing as an excuse to treat the primary challenge from a fringe figure as something real and threatening.”

“Fox News picked up the ball and ran with it, publishing many dozens of stories and featuring him regularly on-air. House Republicans even invited him to testify on Capitol Hill.”

“It hasn’t worked. And now, it’s looking as if the whole thing could backfire.”

“Donald Trump is set to go to trial Monday in New York’s civil lawsuit accusing him of extensive business fraud — and while his formal courtroom adversary is the state attorney general’s office, he’ll also be facing off against the judge,” Politico reports.

“In some ways, the trial is the culmination of months of antagonism between the former president and Justice Arthur Engoron, a Democrat who was elected to his current post as a Manhattan trial judge in 2015. The outcome of the nonjury trial will be entirely up to Engoron, who will make his decision on the heels of a series of fierce disputes with Trump.”

Wall Street Journal: “One big reason: While economists and the Federal Reserve focus on inflation, which is the rate of change in prices, Americans in their everyday lives usually focus on the absolute price of the things they need and want.”

“On that front, prices for many items, though rising more slowly this year than last, remain well above their levels just before or at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and aren’t likely to return to where they were.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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