The great sage, Maya Angelou, often said when people tell you who they are, believe them.
And so far, aided by the news that, like former President Donald Trump, then-Vice President Joe Biden took a few classified documents with him when he left government service at the end of the Obama administration — House Republicans have been true to their words.
Looking into Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified material has moved to near the top of their investigations to-do list.
I’ll have to see where it is on the list in relation to the investigation of Hunter Biden’s laptop, the Jan. 6 committee, the weaponization of the FBI and the Justice department, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the border, immigration and the situation at the border and the newly retired Dr. Anthony Fauci.
As soon as Kevin McCarthy finished selling the rest of his dignity to the 20 right-wing hardliners in his caucus and became Speaker of the House of Representatives on the 15th ballot, here’s what the Trump-infused, Republican-led, 118th Congress did.
After passing its rule package that will make McCarthy the weakest House Speaker in congressional history, the first bill to hit the floor was the Family and Small Business Protection Act that would rescind the $72 billion for the Internal Revenue Service that was part of the Inflation Reduction Act.
As with everything they do in response to anything passed by Democrats, Republicans have made this part of the act sound scarier than it actually is, saying that it will immediately add thousands and thousands of IRS agents to the department whose job will be to come after “average Americans.”
Not true, the bill says that new employees in all departments of the agency will be added over a 10-year period, not immediately. That’s not a lot when you consider that the average age of a current IRS employee is 55 and many of them will be retiring in the next few years.
Next up was voting to establish a select subcommittee to investigate the weaponization of the federal government.
On the surface, this seems like a good thing, but when did Republicans start to question the integrity of federal law enforcement and government investigations? Oh yeah, when the focus of the investigations is directed at one of their own.
They had little or few problems with the weaponization of government agencies when those weapons are used against people who don’t look, act or vote like them.
The genesis for this bill is a show of fealty to Trump, who during his time in political arena has been the focus of multiple FBI and Justice Department investigations from Russian collusion, his handling of sensitive documents to the search of Maralago and his other residences.
In a play to their religious base, they approved a concurrent resolution condemning the recent attacks on pro-life facilities, groups and churches and accused the Biden administration of failing to take action in response to the attacks on the anti-abortion rights advocates and churches or protect the organizations.
No such bill was ever introduced by a Republican when the object of the attacks were pro-choice advocates, organizations or black and brown churches or mosques.
Sticking with a theme, their next effort was to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a proposal first introduced by a representative from Missouri (imagine that) in the last Congress.
Here what this bill does, it requires health care practitioners to provide care to infants who are born alive after an abortion or attempted abortion and ensure the baby is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.
It says a person who “intentionally performs or attempts to perform an overt act that kills a child born alive” is subject to punishment for “intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being
And it declares that an infant born alive after an abortion is a legal person and entitled to protections under U.S. laws.
Here’s the rub, there are existing laws already on the books at the federal and state levels that protect infants as soon as they are born and would likely apply to any medical provider who might withhold care from a newborn infant.
The irony of this being a GOP bill is that to date, Republicans tend to lose interest in babies if they are born below a certain socio-economic threshhold. I ain’t saying, I’m just saying.
One select committee I had no problem with them creating was the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.
Neither did the 146 Democrats who voted in favor of the committee.
Speaking of hating on China, they also passed with much Democratic support a bill blocking the sale of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to companies owned or influenced by the Chinese Communist Party.
About 2% of oil from the SPR was sold to China last year. One would have thought if they really wanted to stick it to China, they would have put forth and voted on a bill that would have banned all oil exports to China.
But regardless of how mad Republicans get at someone, they are still about business, and they know that ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips and the boys would not like them cutting off one of their main sources of world income.
I can’t wait to see what else comes to the floor in the coming weeks, courtesy of these right-wing guys and gals.
I was hoping that they’d make George Santos a high-ranking subcommittee member, but they only gave him spots on the Small Business and the Science and Technology committees. More on him in a later column.
Hi, Momma Lois.
TONY KENDALL of Hazel is a writer, teacher, actor, playwright and sports fanatic. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.