A new year, a new Congress and a divided government. Yet Republican Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Democrat Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey still believe that, in a splintered, GOP-held House, good things can happen. “Most people have never heard of us,” Fitzpatrick said. “They’re like, ‘Really? There’s a bunch of Democrats and Republicans getting together and sitting down?'”
“Is it realistic that you can actually solve the problems next year?” Costa asked.
“Yes, and we have no choice. We need to.
But those moderates, who lead the Problem Solvers Caucus, may face challenges from the problem makers. Costa asked, “How do you get attention if you’re competing against a bomb thrower?”
“Well, we get things done,” Gottheimer replied. “So when the infrastructure bill crossed the finish line, it was us, with our colleagues in the Senate, who were negotiating for months. You know, there would have been nothing against doing something .”
But before any deal, many Republicans say it’s time to investigate. Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, a senior member of the House Oversight Committee (whose Republican colleagues had investigated the Biden family), said Nov. 17, “I want to be clear: This is a Joe Biden investigation. , and that’s where this committee will focus at this upcoming Congress.”
Costa asked New York Times Magazine writer Robert Draper, “Sounds like you’ve got a bucket of cold water to pour over any hope that this will be a jolly Congress?”
“It’s cheerful if you enjoyed the dysfunction!” he’s laughing.
Draper is the author of “Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost Its Mind”.
He said: “For people who would like to see things done, I don’t think this Republican conference is currently equipped for that. They’re way too restless, and I think the loudest voices in the room are the those who are much more interested in politics as performance art than in the concrete details of governance.”
Costa said, “There’s a shadow falling on Capitol Hill, always, starting January 6; you’ve got so many Republicans in the House trying to overturn the election, and they’re still there, aren’t- not it?”
“That’s right, and it’s not just Republicans who are still here who voted not to certify the election, but there are Democrats who remember it well,” Draper replied.
And some Republicans say impeachment is on the table.
“When we turn on the television in the spring, will it just be investigation after investigation, hearing after hearing, about the Biden family and the Biden administration?” Costa asked.
“Immediately, yes,” Draper said. “I think that’s the low-hanging fruit that Republicans, for the most part, can agree on – that this will be the party of revenge when they regain a majority.”
History, however, shows that presidents can push back. And never forget that they hold that veto pen.
For more information:
Story produced by Ed Forgotson and Amy Wall. Publisher: Remington Korper.