Tom Emmer as House Speaker?
Bad for the country; bad for the Republican Party.
Of the candidates reportedly on a shortlist to be the next House Speaker, the one who is getting the most media attention, which probably means he’s the front-runner, is Congressman Tom Emmer.
Emmer would easily be the most liberal Republican speaker of my lifetime, probably the most liberal ever. Emmer’s ACU rating is even lower than that of Kevin McCarthy, who I criticized for being too liberal.
Interestingly, McCarthy has endorsed Emmer for Speaker.
Reports also indicate that Emmer privately opposes Donald Trump. Conversely, and unsurprisingly, Trump is said to oppose Emmer, as well.
It will be most interesting to see if Emmer supports the Gaetz-led effort to do away with omnibus bills. It’s been said that the reason the GOP rejected Jim Jordan was that Jordan supported eliminating the sort of appropriation bills that forced congressmen to vote for, say, increased funding for Planned Parenthood; or else he or she will be accused of voting against food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, medicine for the sick, or what have you, that will also be in the omnibus.
Calling for spending cuts is often a game to make a congressman seem conservative, as long as they can put in their earmarks in the latest omnibus.
This is a game Emmer is reported to play himself. According to the Minnesota Reformer:
House Majority Whip Tom Emmer — who advocated for federal spending cuts just hours before the House passed its debt ceiling bill on April 26 — submitted 12 requests totaling $47.6 million for highway and water treatment projects in Minnesota.
McCarthy himself introduced a bill that would “cut discretionary programs by $3.6 trillion over the next decade below the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) recent baseline projection.”
However, with a Democrat-led Senate and Biden in the White House, it’s easy to introduce bills that stand no chance of passing.
If the House Republicans select Emmer that it may signal once again that they are a Party that that’s more style than substance, just as they did when they rejected Jordan. If they are the Party they claim to be, they will pick someone who not only fight for spending cuts but also vote to end the sort of omnibus bill spending that has helped balloon our national debt.
Based on his voting record, Jordan was that guy.
Based on his voting record, I don’t believe that Emmer is.