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Horowitz: Why is Kevin McCarthy not speaking out against impending omnibus that destroys his leverage?

Op-ed
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Record excess deaths and illness, record inflation, record supply shortages, record crime, record illegal immigration, a bureaucracy that surveils, spies on, and persecutes political opponents, and a collapsing culture that teaches grooming and racism in school. Never has an incumbent party been this vulnerable headed into a midterm election, and never has an emerging opposition party been granted so much political capital to change course following that election. Yet unless Kevin McCarthy, the presumptive speaker in waiting, uses his robust clout within the party to oppose the impending omnibus bill, the entire leverage and political capital of the midterms will become worthless.

Money (budget bills) talks, congressional hearings walk. House Republicans are salivating to hold hearings on some (but not all) of the aforementioned criminal acts of the Biden administration, but no relief will come to the American people absent the use of the budget process as leverage to force changes in funding and policy on the most contentious issues of our time. Republicans know all too well that any stand-alone messaging bill (much less a mere hearing) will die in the Senate and will not become law. Placing those priorities, however, in budget bills and standing behind them is the only way to force a national debate and brinksmanship over the issues that matter. But that leverage is now hanging by a thread.

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