Our 2020 book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties. The state of the GOP is not good.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, the longtime adviser and interim successor to ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, sharply criticized Speaker Mike Johnson on Thursday over his handling of the budget, the border crisis and more during his first months in the job.
“We wish him great success,” the North Carolina Republican told reporters. “But he needs to widen the group of advisers he has. The loudest members of our conference should not dictate the strategic course of a smart majority — especially in the most complicated bits where those loudest voices are least likely to participate in the votes necessary.”
McHenry, who served as acting speaker after McCarthy was voted out last year, specifically cited Johnson‘s decision to split government funding bills into two packages and advance stopgap spending legislation.
“If we keep extending the pain, creating more suffering, we will pay the price at the ballot box,” he said. “At this point, we’re sucking wind because we can’t get past the main object in the road. ... We need to get the hell out of the way. Cut the best deals we can get and then get on with the political year.
Yesterday, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt demanded that House Republicans reject a Senate-negotiated border deal. Hewitt says the only feasible border security is to build a 900-mile wall along the southern border. “If Democrats won’t, that’s the campaign,” Hewitt tweeted, referring to the upcoming presidential election in which Donald Trump is expected to be the Republican nominee.
Lankford acknowledged that he’s having to work against conservative forces who don’t want to see a deal in an election year in which the border is a liability for President Biden, who could get credit for changes.
“There are some that are saying, ‘Hey, we don’t want Biden to actually get credit for doing anything on the border, because obviously, he’s made a huge mess,'” Lankford said.
Republican senators think that Trump wants to deny President Biden a policy victory 10 months before the 2024 election — a victory on Trump’s signature issue of border security, no less.
But they think it would be a major policy and political mistake to miss an opportunity to reform the nation’s asylum laws and give the president greater expulsion authority to deter the flow of migrants from Central America.
They also warn that it would be a strategic disaster to abandon Ukraine in its war against Russia. They worry if Russian President Vladimir Putin wins in Ukraine, it will pose a serious threat to U.S. allies and economic interests in Europe.