Both Democrats and Republicans are dealing with fighting in their own parties, both parties are fighting with each other in Congress about the select committee to investigate the invasion of the U.S. Capitol in January, and both parties could be agreeable on the issue of taking back some power from the executive branch when it comes to war powers.
We talked about all of that on this week’s 4 The Record with Iowa Republican Party Chair Jeff Kaufmann and former Scott County Democratic Party Chair Karl Rhomberg.
Bipartisanship on Capitol Hill
Three senators — Democrat Chris Murphy, Republican Mike Lee and independent Bernie Sanders — introduced legislation that would force the president to get approval from Congress before taking action in matters of national security.
The National Security Powers Act would be a way for Congress to reclaim power when it comes to war powers, arms exports and national emergencies.
Any president who bypasses Congress under this umbrella would automatically see funding cutoff after a number of days yet to be determined.
Both parties are guilty of failing to check the presidency for decades, allowing the executive branch to grow in power.
Kaufmann and Rhomberg discussed what the chances are that it can be effective and if a precedent has been set that the president now has these vast powers.
Attack on U.S. Capitol
Now to some disagreement between the parties.
It centers around the select committee in the House of Representatives looking into the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled all five of his appointees from the panel after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rejected two of them.
Pelosi based her decision to deny Jim Jordan and Jim Banks seats on the committee because they voted against certifying the results of the presidential election.
As of now, Liz Cheney is the only Republican on the committee appointed by Pelosi.
I brought up this issue on 4 The Record a few weeks ago, questioning whether this committee would turn into political grandstanding and how committed McCarthy would be to the process.
Rhomberg and Kaufmann addressed if was Pelosi’s decision was fair and what the best approach is to ensure a thorough investigation with representation from both parties.
Both parties also have problems from within to address.
We’ll start with the Democrats.
They’re pushing a $3.5 trillion spending plan that can only get through on a party line vote if the Senate utilizes the reconciliation process and Democrats keep everyone in line.
However, Max Burns in the Daily Beast reports Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez threatens to pull the support of the progressive wing in the House of Representatives on the bipartisan infrastructure bill if issues like climate change, child care and immigration reform aren’t included in the bigger spending plan.
Republicans tend to stay in line on their big priorities when they have power.
Democrats sometimes get in their own way.
Rhomberg discussed what it says about the Democrats if they can’t get this legislation through Congress.
Republicans have their own issues.
There are a few Republicans who should be considered in safe seats going into next year’s elections, but now will deal with challengers from the right wing of the party.
One is Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma. The Associated Press reports he voted with former President Donald Trump about 90 percent of the time, but he is now being challenged by someone who says he’s not conservative enough.
Incumbent U.S. Senator John Boozman from Arkansas is another.
He’s got a few primary challengers who criticize him for voting to certify the presidential election.
There’s also Texas Governor Gregg Abbott. He’s promoting more border walls with Mexico, yet faces a primary challenger.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Congressman Anthony Gonzalez are two Republicans being primaried by right wing opponents because they voted to impeach Trump.
Kaufmann discussed if the Republican Party has become a litmus test of loyalty to Trump and if he thinks Republicans need to come out of the shadow of Trump.
Watch the full discussion in the video above.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.