The mission of the Republican Party to eviscerate the economy has been evident for months. Their intention is to cause the American people to suffer painful hardships in order to boost GOP electoral prospects in 2024. It’s an immoral and insensitive tactic that exposes their commitment to cruelty as a political weapon.
Just two months ago, Republicans tried to hold the nation hostage with threats of defaulting on the national debt, which would have thrown the country – and the world – into a severe recession or worse. President Biden masterfully guided them into a negotiated compromise that avoided the devastating default. In the process he also got an agreement to fast-track the spending bills that would shortly be coming up for votes in the House.
All of that has apparently now been abandoned by Republicans. In a press conference on Tuesday, GOP House leaders appeared to be reneging on their prior agreements in order to squeeze Democrats for concessions on contentious, non-financial issues such as abortion, immigration, and equality.
Setting aside the GOP’s flagrantly bad faith in breaking previous promises, they also admitted to the sort of heinous intentions that would ordinarily never be mentioned out loud. Rep. Bob Good is a member of the ultra-MAGA House Freedom Caucus and chairman of the Health, Environment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee. He came to the podium to discuss the prospect of a government shutdown, and to let the nation know precisely what Republicans think of the work they are doing allegedly on behalf of the American people…
“We should not fear a government shutdown. Most of what we do up here is bad anyway. Most of what we do up here hurts the American people, when we do stuff to the American people while promising to do things for the American people.”
Rep. Bob Good: "We should not fear a government shutdown. Most of what we do up here is bad anyway." pic.twitter.com/Y5p1YhqIIf
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 25, 2023
Really? This is a leader of the Republican Party in the House confessing that the GOP is affirmatively (purposefully?) hurting people. They are the majority party, albeit by a small margin, and it is their policies that are brought up for votes on the House floor. But in Good’s opinion, those policies are detrimental and the country would be better off without them. It’s hard to disagree with him on that.
This is Good’s explanation for why a government shutdown should not be feared. He went on to say that “Essential operations continue,” and that “Most Americans won’t even miss if the government is shut down temporarily.” Sure, if you aren’t counting the millions of Americans who rely on government services related to everything from building permits, to interstate and international travel, to financial aid, to veterans benefits, to tax information and filing.
What’s more, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the last government shutdown cost the country $11 billion. But fortunately, not a single member of Congress lost a dime. Their salaries and perks were paid throughout the shutdown.
It will be interesting to see if House Squeaker Kevin McCarthy goes along with the radical right-wing fringe of his party. He has done so almost entirely in the few months that he has been in his post. That’s because he’s so afraid that his own members will turn on him and vote him out of the speakership if he is less than wholly submissive. He’s even hinting that he’ll go along with efforts to impeach President Biden, despite the total absence of any evidence of wrongdoing.
All the GOP has left at this point are threats to tank the economy, attacks on the Biden family, and boycotts of Barbie, Mickey Mouse, and light beer. Because that’s what they think the public wants from their representatives in Washington. That should work out well for them in next year’s elections.
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