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The McCarthy fiasco is distracting us from the real solution to federal dysfunction

Published in Blog on January 06, 2023 by Jakob Fay

No one needed any more proof that the federal government was dysfunctional.

Unfortunately, thanks to the GOP, that’s exactly what we got.

This week, the big news out of Washington has been Kevin McCarthy’s failed attempts to become Speaker of the House. With 222 House Republicans and only 212 Democrats, McCarthy, a Republican, should have won (he only needs 218 votes). To his dismay, however, 20 Republicans have refused to support him, blocking him from succeeding Nancy Pelosi as presiding officer.

After 13 votes, his bid for speakership is now the longest competition for that position in 164 years.

Of the twenty holdouts some seem to have an actual plan: leverage their power against McCarthy until he makes key concessions. In the world of politics, such manipulative negotiating is par for the course.

Others, however, seem to have no plan but to keep McCarthy away from the speaker’s gavel at any cost – even if it means holding up the entire legislative body for weeks. Representative Matt Gaetz, for example, said “I wouldn’t be betting on my vote for Kevin McCarthy under almost any circumstance.”

He then vowed to resign if Democrats (all 212 of whom are currently voting for Democrat Hakeem Jeffries) help push McCarthy over the top.

McCarthy has made several major (and possibly costly) concessions to the GOP lawmakers who oppose his speakership and in the 12th vote, 12 gave in and threw their support behind him (others have done so during other votes). The few who are still holding out seem, at this point, to have no clear path to victory. Although the six remaining Republican holdouts are still enough to keep him from meeting the 218 vote threshold, it is unlikely they will overcome the 214 House Republicans who now support McCarthy.

The voting process has been chock-full of shenanigans that have captured the mainstream media’s attention. In the second vote, 19 Republicans voted for Representative Jim Jordan, despite Jordan saying he did not want the position and voting for McCarthy. The next day, Matt Gaetz nominated Donald Trump for speakership (a move which seemed to amuse Representative Marjorie Taylor Green despite the fact that she supports McCarthy). Representative Green later bashed Representative Lauren Boebert for her vehement opposition to McCarthy, accusing her of unserious leadership and obstruction. Similarly, Gaetz bashed Trump for his “wrong” support of McCarthy.

Thus the drama continues.

In the words of Majorie Taylor Green, “the American people… are sick and tired of drama, and this is nothing but drama.”

Debate and gridlock are good and necessary. Bartering is a normal part of politics. But the American people sent Republicans to Congress to work and instead they have divided the House against itself.

But while D.C. is embroiled in the tabloid press emanating out of Congress, serious lawmakers nationwide are gearing up for what they were elected to do: serve the American people.

“The Circus Side Show continues in DC,” said Convention of States Regional Director Dave Schnieder, “all while the states are kicking off the real shows with their legislatures. The state legislatures are where the reforms like Term Limits on Congress and a Balanced Budget Amendment can be forced upon the clowns in the circus tent. While the noise is all focused on the unicycle jugglers, real reformers are getting to work in capitol buildings in towns like Cheyenne, Topeka, Des Moines, and Helena. We need to bring the focus away from who will be the Circus Ring Leader. As we all know, the solutions will never come from within the circus tent to fix this clown show.”

The nation’s attention is fixated on the federal government, but even more powerful than he who holds the speaker’s gavel are the state legislators who have power to rein in the federal government using Article V of the Constitution. This legislative season, several states will be considering a Convention of States resolution by which they could limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials.

Regardless of who you want as the next Speaker of the House, it’s clear that the “D.C. clown show” no longer has our best interests at heart. Regardless of the silver-tongued promises they make on television, most politicians are there simply to promote themselves, not serve us.

To stop them in their tracks, join us in our efforts to call an Article V Convention of States. Sign the petition below, and get involved today.

Sign the petition to call for an Article V convention!

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Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention to proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington DC.

I support Convention of States; a national movement to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.

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