How the Federal Budget Process Intensifies Partisanship.
Plus, What’s Left for the January 6th Committee?
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Alex Jones's Billion Dollar Lies.
BILL RYAN: The Tricky Terrors of H.P. Lovecraft
Shield: Happy Birthday Mr. Dictator
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
JAMES C. CAPRETTA: How the Federal Budget Process Intensifies Partisanship.
Concern for the health of American democracy is usually directed toward election-related questions such as campaign financing, voting procedures, participation rates, and gerrymandering. Yet it ought to also extend to reconsideration of the obscure congressional procedures now exacerbating the partisan divide. The winner-take-all mentality these rules reinforce is powerful, widely held, and increasingly entrenched.
The problem stems from a reductive view of the congressional budget process. Instead of seeing the rules as facilitating approval of a fiscal blueprint that allows for orderly decisions (its original purpose), Congress now assumes that passing a budget only makes sense if it helps the party in control advance its agenda without having to compromise with the other side. Recent history confirms this logic, and the parties now plan accordingly.
Both parties could have waves, the new crop of House GOP nominees make Jim Jordan and Paul Gosar look sane, and MAGA Musk may lose his urban, coastal Tesla-buyers. Plus, exceptions for rape, incest, and Herschel Walker. Dana Milbank joins Charlie Sykes.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
KIMBERLY WEHLE: What’s Left for the January 6th Committee?
After a hiatus of nearly three months, the House January 6th Committee will open its tenth hearing at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, less than four weeks before the midterm elections that will determine whether the committee will continue to exist. If the House of Representatives shifts to Republican control, a change that requires a net of only five seats to flip from blue to red, the congressional probe into the attack on the U.S. Capitol and all that led up to it will cease. Reminding the American people of what happened on Jan. 6th—and what remains to be investigated and revealed regarding GOP leaders’ role in the attempt to overturn the democratic election of a U.S. president—could be essential to the outcome of the midterms and thus the vitality of the rule of law itself.
Beyond shutting down the committee, what else might a Republican-controlled House of Representatives do about Jan. 6th? Last month, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy released his blueprint of what he’d do as speaker. Called a “Commitment to America,” it cynically identifies “A Government That’s Accountable” as a primary objective and promises “genuine scrutiny” of “Biden’s Justice Department labeling parents as ‘domestic terrorists’”— a vague swipe at the Department of Justice’s prosecution of hundreds of primarily white men for their actions on Jan. 6th. (Prosecutors estimate that number could climb as high as 2,000.) If elected speaker, McCarthy will also feel pressure to initiate bogus proceedings to impeach President Joe Biden. He has, according to the Washington Post, already begun training sessions for members of Congress and staff in anticipation of relentless probes into Hunter Biden’s business deals, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the origins of the coronavirus, COVID-19 school closings, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, weapons sales to Ukraine, the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago—and even the Jan. 6th Committee’s work.
Happy Thursday! The Guardians / Yankees game has been postponed. My hope is that it won’t postpone game 3, unless my sick kids have a transmittable disease, in which case, I can’t go. But I’d been planning to, to see if my “curse” still holds.
Your must read of the day… My former Roll Call colleague wrote this and you must read it. 98% of it describes how I feel. The reason I stay? You. Never change.
Vaquero… One of my former interns died over the weekend. A former colleague shared this song. You’ll be missed, Conor.
The NFL is mafia… The Dan Snyder story.
Throwback Thursday… Tim Miller nails it.
The Laxalt Turn…. 14 is a lot.
What happened during the 2003 blackout? A detailed look.
An Assault Against Free Speech… Missouri’s likely next Senator doesn’t give a shit.
The Right Stuff? Peter Thiel’s investment is tanking.
Planes? They don’t really enforce the traffic laws.
Is Ben Sasse right for Florida? Moreover, is he a deep thinker?
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.