In this episode of Snit Fits With Swalwell…
Suffice it to say that California Democrat Congressman Eric Swalwell has not had a good January.
From Speaker Kevin McCarthy renewing his vow to yank Swalwell off the House Select Committee on Intelligence, along with serial liar and fellow Californian Adam Schiff, to repeating a debunked lie about classified documents found at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, Swally’s been on quite a roll.
During a segment on MSNBC with equally pleasant [sarc] host Nicolle Wallace about the battle between Republicans and the Democrat Party and Joe Biden’s White House over drunken-sailor-spending, like the $1.7 trillion omnibus package and blank check to Ukraine, Swalwell said there’s a lot on the line:
“The greatest asset that Russia has now would be a Republican Party that is unwilling to help Ukraine. So there is a lot on the line. And Democrats are united to deliver the votes.”
How so, given that Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the GOP now control the House, you ask?
Swally has it figured out:
“I think you’re going to see speaker discharge. The country is going to learn that word because a discharge petition, the worst named political term you could think of, means that if you get a majority of the Congress to come forward to support legislation, you can go around the speaker, I think we’ll have to go around the speaker to do all of that.”
Speaker discharge? A discharge petition allows a majority of the House to force action on a bill on which the Speaker or key committees refuse to hold a House floor vote.
In this instance, if McCarthy won’t allow a vote on a “clean” debt ceiling increase bill, 218 members of the House can sign a discharge petition forcing such a vote, and since that’s a majority, a bill would likely then pass. Since the GOP has 222 seats vs. the Democrats’ 213, five Republicans would have to vote with the Democrats, assuming all 435 members vote.
McCarthy and Ukraine
I’m not sure why Swalwell used Ukraine as a reason to suggest House Democrats can rely on discharge petitions to “get around the Speaker,” given McCarthy’s stance on the matter, as it relates to Russia’s invasion of the now war-torn country. Then again, I’m not sure why Swalwell says or does anything — other than as a political hack totally absorbed in self-aggrandizement, that is. As even CNN’s chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported in December, following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech before Congress, McCarthy praised Zelensky — with a wise caveat:
“I thought it’s a very good speech. He laid out a number of reasons why the free world wants to continue the fight. My position has never changed. I support Ukraine, but I never support a blank check.”
There’s Swally’s problem — the Democrat Party thrives on blank checks (covered by America’s taxpayers) regardless of their cause célèbre at the time.
McCarthy after the speech: “I thought it's a very good speech. He laid out a number of reasons why the free world wants to continue the fight. My position has never changed. I support Ukraine but I never support a blank check,” per @AnnieGrayerCNN
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 22, 2022
And following McCarthy’s election as Speaker, Zelensky congratulated him — if only for selfishly hopeful (continuing U.S. aid) purposes:
“Congratulations to @GOPLeader on his election as the Speaker of ?? House of Representatives. U.S. support in all fields has been vital for ??’s success on the battlefield. We’re counting on your continued support and further U.S. assistance to bring our common victory closer.”
Needless to say, Zelensky will continue to count on the U.S. government until the proverbial (cash) cows come home, the Russian Army goes home, or both.
Congratulations to @GOPLeader on his election as the Speaker of 🇺🇸 House of Representatives. U.S. support in all fields has been vital for 🇺🇦’s success on the battlefield. We’re counting on your continued support and further U.S. assistance to bring our common victory closer.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 7, 2023
Regardless of what McCarthy and the majority of the House Republicans Caucus think about U.S. taxpayers continuing to fund Ukraine’s war effort, Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy — an original key holdout against McCarthy’s Speaker bid who finally supported him after McCarthy made numerous concessions — remains opposed to ongoing aid to Ukraine.
The Bottom Line
Given the midterm “red wave” that wasn’t, and the number of House and Senate Republicans in the 117th Congress who folded like cheap suits and voted with the Democrats on the aforementioned $1.7 trillion monstrosity, all bets are off on anything congressional Republicans might do over the next two years.
Incidentally, to wrap this one up, in respect to my earlier comment about Eric Swalwell being on quite a roll, check out RedStates’s most recent coverage of the Sleeper with Communist Spies(TM):