Here, in chronological order, what I wrote about the rocky start to Republican re-takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives. (To read each full column, follow the link embedded in each headline.)

Pence could have offered way out of House morass (Jan. 5): WithHouse Republicans at a near-hopeless stalemate, the best choice for speaker is somebody who surely doesn’t want the job. But for the good of the party and country, the warring sides should agree to support former Vice President Mike Pence for the speakership, and Pence ought to accept. (For those who don’t know, it is allowable for the House to choose a speaker who isn’t even a member of Congress.) Here’s why…..

If McCarthy’s ‘deal’ includes defense cuts, it’s dumb and dangerous (Jan. 9):

If the agreement that earned the House speakership for Rep. Kevin McCarthy includes a hard cut from all discretionary federal spending including defense , then basic arithmetic says it is dangerously reckless.

By accounts too numerous to be doubted, the agreement includes a pledge for fiscal 2024 (and perhaps beyond?) to cap discretionary spending — everything but “entitlements” such as Social Security and Medicare — at the levels they were in fiscal 2022. A close look shows this is sheer folly….

Republican rules changes: Good, bad, and terrible (Jan. 9):

The concessions that Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made to become speaker of the House, and the new rules package that includes some of those concessions, are on the whole a mixed bag.

Some of the proposed changes are excellent ideas. Some of them are awful. And one would be disastrous….

Rule requiring 3/5 vote for tax hikes is arguably unconstitutional (Jan. 10):

A new rule adopted by the new Republican House majority that would make it harder to raise taxes is arguably unconstitutional. But the House could still tweak it.

Before I explain, please let me make clear that I am a Reagan-Kemp supply-side, low-tax advocate through and through. I have never in my life supported a bill raising federal income tax rates. The objection here is rooted in law and process, not in the desired result….


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