debating matters of war and peace in such an unprecedented, irregular, and restrictive way.”
McCarthy pushes Dems to abandon procedural strategy sidelining GOP
“Simply put, this is wrong—and I believe you know it to be in bad faith,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
By Melanie Zamina, Politico, Janaury 27, 2020:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy implored his Democratic counterpart on Monday to reconsider maneuvers that restrict the GOP’s ability to use procedural tactics to shape a pair of war powers resolutions coming to the floor this week.
In a letter delivered to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), McCarthy (R-Calif.) asked the Democratic leader to reconsider his party’s strategy and emphasized how important it is to preserve the limited tools that are available to the minority party.
“Simply put, this is wrong—and I believe you know it to be in bad faith,” McCarthy wrote in the letter, obtained by POLITICO. “In fact, we are unaware of the House ever debating matters of war and peace in such an unprecedented, irregular, and restrictive way.”
The House will vote Thursday on a pair of measures — led by California Democrats Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna — that would further crack down on Trump’s ability to launch unilateral strikes on nations like Iran.
But Democrats have taken careful steps to avoid an embarrassing repeat of last year, when Republicans essentially forced the House into a do-over on a similar bill. The fear is that Republicans will use a procedural vote — known as a motion to recommit — to split Democrats and force certain changes to the bill, as the GOP has successfully done on some of the most contentious measures of 2019.
Last February, the GOP temporarily tanked bipartisan legislation to rein in Trump’s war-making powers in Yemen — a historic vote that marked the first time since the passage of the 1973 War Powers Act that both chambers agreed to halt a military effort.
At the time, Republicans had seized on tensions within the Democratic Caucus over certain remarks perceived as anti-Semitic by some of their own members. GOP lawmakers eventually secured enough Democratic votes to amend the legislation and add language condemning anti-Semitism, which held up the measure.
Now, though, Democratic leaders have a plan to prevent any kind of GOP “gotcha” votes. The Lee and Khanna measures will be offered as separate amendments to a noncontroversial House bill that has already passed the Senate.
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