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The House GOP Sinks Into Lethargy and Incoherence: The Zombie House

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Robert Costa of National Review has a new story out on the slow collapse of the House GOP under the leadership of Speaker Boehner.

The problem isn’t, however, the return to “regular order,” as many suggested to Robert, but the refusal of the House to proceed according to regular order always and in every instance. The Committee chairs are engaged in “personal rule” now, not “regular order,” and their often-incoherent, often contradictory agendas are destroying the unity of the GOP and the ability of Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy to message into this chaotic media hurricane anything other than an image of drift and confusion.

The best case in point is the awful, jobs-destroying medical device tax.

Minnesota Congressman Eric Paulson has collected 218 signatures for his bill repealing MDT –a form of which also passed in the last Congress.

But Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp won’t let the Pauslon bill proceed to a hearing in the House subcommittee, and thus to a full committee vote, Rules and a floor vote.

This is the abandonment of “regular order.”  Why is it happening?  Because Camp is negotiating a secret deal with Max Baucus on tax reform which will be DOA when unveiled.  The traditional base and its Tea Party will rise up against the crazy attempt to destroy what is left of tax exemptions on the trust that the president and his gang won;’t raise taxes even more when the GOP manages to forfeit the House in 2014 by doing exactly zip with it for two years.

I interviewed Texas Congressman Kevin Brady about the blockade of the repeal of the medical device tax on yesterday’s show.  The transcript is here. Sources have told me that Eric Cantor will eventually overrule Camp and oblige the MDT to come to the floor, but the GOP is losing momentum and support every day it indulges its aging do-nothing-but-dine-with-0lobbyist chairmen like Camp.

“Regular order” isn’t the problem Robert.  It is still the culture of privilege and elitism that infuses a handful of GOP chairmen who are living in a world that vanished in 2001.  They lost the House once in 2006 and got a second chance in 2010.  They are blowing it again.  Because the rest of the House GOP that will have to live in the minority for the next generation believe the same pollsters who called 2012 wrong, pollsters who are telling the House GOP that they are invulnerable to the frustration of he electorate.

The Campaign for Primary Accountability is going to arrive in a few GOP districts soon, and I hope they start with Dave Camp and his key allies in the blocking of the repeal of MDT, which is killing real jobs and investment on a  daily basis.  Leader Cantor and his chief whip Kevin McCarthy know the score and are trying to thread the needle but they aren’t moving fast enough.  It is almost impossible to believe that they are allowing empty suits to destroy what could be a decade in leadership and a revitalized legislative agenda for the GOP.




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