Kevin McCarthy is wasting his time with fights that get him nowhere: report
Kevin McCarthy (Photo by Brendan Smilakowski for AFP)

Insider reported Sunday that new Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is giving up all of his political capital fighting for things that no one but Republican members cares about.

The GOP spent the 2022 midterm election talking about things like crime and the economy, but now that they've come to power, their first focus was removing Democrats from House Committees that they didn't like based on conspiracy theories.

There were concerns from some Republicans about taking Omar off of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa since she was the only person in Congress from Africa. Still, she was booted but only from that specific committee.

In the last Congress members, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) were taken off of committees after bad behavior that the whole of Congress voted was unacceptable. Gosar threatened to kill Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes (D-NY) and President Joe Biden. Greene was involved in many anti-Semitic statements and spoke to a white nationalist anti-semitism conference.

"If it was tit-for-tat we would've picked people, took them off all committees, and said nothing about it," McCarthy told reporters.

The vote against Omar took a lot of political negotiations and McCarthy only secured the votes at the last minute.

At the same time, Republicans have chosen to focus most of their time on hearings that attack President Joe Biden.

Now the GOP is taking on Washington, D.C., which as not a state has to have all of its laws approved by Congress. It's one of the main reasons that D.C. people have fought for statehood. Last week, two bills were passed by the Council of D.C. One would allow noncitizens to vote in municipal elections and another overhauled the city's criminal code. Republicans are against it, saying that it would make D.C. more dangerous.

As the GOP pushes more conservative bills, they're not likely to bet on the same kind of whole-party unity, the report explained.

"While the House resolutions will likely hit a brick wall in the Senate, McCarthy knows that while ultraconservative bills could pass with the slimmest of margins, they would be purely symbolic," Insider said. "Many GOP members would welcome such actions ahead of the 2024 presidential election, in an attempt to create a foil in President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats. But for McCarthy, continually arm-twisting to pass bills that won't go anywhere may not inspire confidence among Independents that will decide legions of House races next year."

If the House can't do anything useful, particularly after making a number of campaign promises, it could make 2024 very difficult for House members that won in 2020's pro-Joe Biden districts.

Read the full column here.