GOP Tea Party Caucus Demands Vote to Oust Speaker Pelosi

Politico: “The conservative House Freedom Caucus is urging Kevin McCarthy to try to boot Nancy Pelosi from her position as speaker, a sign of further escalating tensions after the California Democrat vetoed two of the House Minority Leader’s GOP picks from the Jan. 6 select committee.

“In a letter Friday, the far-right group asked McCarthy to file and bring up a privileged motion by July 31 ‘to vacate the chair and end Nancy Pelosi’s authoritarian reign as Speaker of the House.’

“’Speaker Pelosi’s tenure is destroying the House of Representatives and our ability to faithfully represent the people we are here to serve,’ they write. ‘Republicans, under your leadership, must show the American people that we will act to protect our ability to represent their interests.’

“The motion is all but guaranteed to fail in the Democratic House, but it signals a stewing anger on the right towards the speaker. The Freedom Caucus’ letter indicates that McCarthy would need to initiate the motion, and if he were to do so, it would further escalate partisan acrimony in the House that has remained high, and occasionally gotten personal, since Jan. 6.”

Pelosi Rejects Two of McCarthy’s Election-Deniers for Jan. 6 Commission; McCarthy Pulls All five of His Nominees (UPDATED)

*Now McCarthy says that if he doesn’t get his way, he won’t nominate anyone and there will be on select committee:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Wednesday rejected two Republicans picked by GOP leadership to serve on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said in response that Republicans will not participate in the investigation unless Pelosi changes her mind.

“House rules give the speaker final say over committee assignments, but the speaker normally defers to the minority leader’s choices of committee members to represent the minority party…

“The committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting July 27. Under the rules, it would have enough members to make a quorum and proceed even if none of McCarthy’s picks served.


Giffords’ Surprise Appearance on House Floor Was a Moment of Grand Political Theatre

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I was watching the House vote on the debt-ceiling “Raw Deal” live on C-SPAN yesterday when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat, made a surprise appearance to cast her vote. Giffords was shot in the head by a crazed gunman last January, as everyone knows, and few people expected her to return to work, ever.

It is telling that she returned to vote for the deficit-ceiling deal that Pres. Obama struck with the tea bagger faction in the House — even though many, if not most of 28 of the baggers, did not vote for it themselves. Giffords is one of the few remaining Blue Dogs in the Democratic caucus. Her appearance yesterday is likely a sign that, while she probably won’t run for the Senate next year, as had been widely speculated before she was shot, she will seek reelection to the House. If so, she will need the votes of right-leaning independents in her district.

Giffords’ unexpected appearance on the House floor at a moment of high political drama was no accident. It was carefully stage-managed political theatre for which Giffords’ friends, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, among others, are likely responsible.

Without Giffords’ appearance, the Raw Deal’s passage would have been a moment of unmitigated triumph for the tea party GOP and for Speaker Boehner. Instead, Pelosi et al stepped all over Boehner’s victory and rewrote the headlines about the vote that you are reading today.