Cope Harder: McConnell Compels House To Change Motion To Vacate Rule

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by blueapples
Thursday, Oct 05, 2023 - 0:26

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may have been better off reprising his on-going deer in the headlights routine than issuing the baffling comments he made following the historic ouster of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker Of The House. Following the 216-210 vote that vacated McCarthy from his seat as speaker, McConnell has turned to the typical uniparty tactic of calling for the rule of law to be changed in order to avert any threat posed to establishment figures in positions of power. In this iteration of that tactic, McConnell called upon the majority republican House Of Representatives to abolish the existing rule that allows just a single member of the house to file a motion to vacate the position of House of the Speaker, claiming that it makes the titular role "near impossible" to succeed in.

McConnell's insistence on changing the rule was made during in his first public remarks following the speaker's seat being vacated during a press conference in which he waxed poetically about McCarthy. “I’d like to start by thanking Speaker McCarthy for his service. We had a great personal relationship trying to lead two very different parts of the American government. I think he has much to be proud of. We avoided a government shutdown. We did the inevitable with regard to the debt ceiling,” said McConnell. The Kentucky Senior Senator went on to address the former speaker's demise by offering advice to McCarthy's successor by saying "I hope whoever the next speaker is gets rid of the motion to vacate."

Ironically, the rule that led to McCarthy's being voted out of his position as Speaker Of The House was one he implemented in the first place. Following a disastrous campaign to be elected to the role to begin with, McCarthy was finally able to be elected speaker but only after 15 votes that finally saw him ascend to the leadership over the House Of Representatives. Resistance from a Matt Gaetz led faction resulted in days of negotiations in which McCarthy would make several concessions in order to gain the votes he needed to be elected. One of those concessions was to restore the rule of procedure governing the consideration of a motion to vacate under the 118th Congress back to requiring only a single member to call a no-confidence vote. This rule of procedure had been in place before 2019 when Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker Of The House. Under Pelosi's reign, the rule was changed to require a majority of either party to vote in favor of consideration of a motion to vacate. Desperate to succeed Pelosi as Speaker Of The House, McCarthy willingly restored the rule back to what it previously was. Unbeknownst to him, this concession would ultimately mean McCarthy had sewn the seeds of his own demise.

With looming uncertainty surrounding the future of republican leadership over the house, the party now finds itself at an inflection point. The momentum gathered by Gaetz's faction has led to calls for former president Donald Trump be nominated to the role of Speaker Of The House - a premise which Trump tacitly endorsed during his fraud trial in New York City. Calls to see Trump elected as speaker come ahead of a 2024 election cycle in which his political opposition is focused on disqualifying him from holding office to prevent a second nonconsecutive presidential term. Despite that vocal opposition, Trump remains a strong favorite to win the 2024 nomination for the republican candidate for president in next year's election. However, if the new blood seeking to usurp the balance of power in the republican party has its way then Trump could return to Washington sooner than expected.

McConnell's guidance to alter existing laws in order to retain power vested in where it already lays is a foreboding omen. That call in the wake of upheaval that offers an auspice for those that wish to turn depose establishment figures like he and McCarthy from their leadership positions would usually reek of desperation. However, in Washington, where subverting the rule of law is a tried and true tactic to keeping corrupt politicians in power, the Senator Minority Leader's call to action is a dire warning to those that led the charge against McCarthy that their fight is not over. That omen emphasizes the importance of electing a new speaker that can continue to turn the tables on stagnant republican stalwarts whose leadership has done little to change the existing power dynamic in congress. Without sustaining the change marked by McCarthy's deposition, that watershed moment in American history may ultimately have been achieved in vain.

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