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McCarthy's House: Shame in Short Supply

Jamie Stiehm on

In new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's, R-Calif., own words: "She reminds me of my friends from high school, that we're going to stick together all the way through."

That's an operative quote from the man of small-town Bakersfield, California. He refers to despicable Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a Donald Trump loyalist whom he embraced -- literally -- as he barely won the race to head the House Republicans.

"I will never leave that woman," McCarthy told friends, quoted in The New York Times.

McCarthy is thinking of the narrowly divided House of Representatives in terms of high school.

Everything is personal. Nothing matters more than winning, whatever you give away in 15 votes over four grueling days.

The Californian, 57, does not bode well for the new Congress, where questions of global import already loom large. He may force an unlikely bond between President Joe Biden and, wait for it, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

 

First, Russia's war on Ukraine is nearly a year old. Will Biden and the United States still lead as Ukraine's staunchest ally in supplying weapons and training to soldiers?

McCarthy is shaky on Ukraine and has made no commitment. He doubts supporting a "blank check" to Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says more military aid is vital to withstanding Russia's winter offensive.

Balking at Biden's foreign policy is bad enough. But McCarthy made a devil's deal on the world economy and financial markets on raising the debt ceiling.

Trading for votes he needed from mutineers in his party, McCarthy pledged to obstruct raising the debt limit, which Congress must do every so often to pay the country's bills. Usually (not always) this is done on a bipartisan basis.

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