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McClintock Speaks Against Motion To Vacate The Chair

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Congressman Tom McClintock (CA-05) delivered remarks on the House floor in opposition of a motion to vacate the chair.

McClintock was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day” and was featured as part of the Republican’s Weekly Address. Here are his words:

“Mr. Speaker:

Benjamin Franklin described the limitations of any deliberative body in his closing speech to the Constitutional Convention. He said, “when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected?”

We have certainly approached these limits in our deliberations in recent days and I want to pause for a moment and assess where we are and where we are going.

The Roman Empire fell for many reasons, but the two most prominent were that it destroyed its economy by overspending and it failed to secure its borders. Clearly, these two self-inflicted calamities are converging right now upon our country and we are fast running out of time to avert them.

For this reason, House Republicans have sought, with the most slender of majorities, to reverse these policies – albeit imperfectly. A few weeks ago, we passed HR 2, the strongest border security bill in a century. Over the past months, our majority on the appropriations committee has drafted the 12 appropriations bills which bend discretionary spending down and enact important reforms.

Now, I admit that we are inexcusably late in that process. The approach of the fiscal year, though, provided us impetus to complete this work. Last week, we began taking up and adopting appropriations bills that now comprise 70 percent of federal discretionary spending, on the eve of an impending shutdown.

We have learned from experience that a government shutdown can be administered in a manner that does enormous damage to the economy and to the lives of millions of Americans. The President, if he wishes, can destroy every small business on federal land and those adjacent to federal land. Obama went so far as to barricade every monument and memorial, chain the gates of every acre of federal land and even barricade the turn-outs overlooking Yosemite Valley so people couldn’t even pull over to catch a glimpse of it. Mr. Biden had made it very clear he intended to follow that strategy — specifically designed to create a panic and to force an immediate resolution in favor of the status quo.

Accordingly, our Conference put forward a 30-day continuing resolution to avert a shutdown while reducing non-defense discretionary spending by eight percent and enacting the border security bill we had previously passed.

Unfortunately, 21 Republicans joined House Democrats to defeat this resolution. Now out of time and faced with an imminent shutdown, our conference directed the Speaker to put a 45-day continuing resolution on the floor without the previous reforms, as the only way to avert a shutdown and continue our work to complete the appropriations process. We cancelled the October recess to complete this work.

Yet now, we are faced with the threat that a Republican will move to vacate the Republican Speaker of the House. It will only require four other Republican members to join the Democrats to achieve this result. The immediate effect will be to paralyze the house indefinitely, because no other business can be taken up until a replacement is elected – just when we are on the verge of completing the appropriations process that in turn will finally initiate discussions with the Senate that are vital to change the dangerous path our country is on.

I cannot conceive of a more counterproductive and self-destructive course than that.

The supreme irony is that this is being initiated by self-described conservatives. Do they honestly believe that when the Democrats side with them to remove a Republican speaker that they will then side with them to name a more conservative replacement? Of course not. The Democrats will certainly recruit the most liberal Republicans to establish a left-of-center coalition to run the House. This is exactly what happened in California in 1994. A coalition speaker will move the administration of the House sharply to the left and effectively end the Republican house majority that the people elected in 2022.

I implore my Republican colleagues to look past “their Prejudices, their Passions, their Errors of Opinion, their local Interests, and their selfish Views” and to make a wise decision when it is needed most — at this critical moment in the life of our country.”

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.