Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are licking their chops over taking control of that institution on Jan. 3, 2023.
With that transition just a few days away, we must ask, "What will GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives mean for the GOP, and the nation?"
Unity on principle and demanding accountability from the Biden administration or discord and conceding to Democrats?
Will it mirror the GOP in the U.S. Senate, where 18 Republicans, including Minority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined all 48 Democrats and two independents to support the Democrats’ $1.7 billion, 4,000-page omnibus government funding bill loaded with perks?
House Minority Leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has threatened to block any bills sponsored by Republican senators who voted for the bill.
That threat assumes he will be elected speaker of the House.
While McCarthy threatened Senate Democrats who voted for the bill, nine of his own House Republicans broke ranks with him and GOP leadership, voting for the monstrous bill.
Can Republicans be confident that the slim GOP majority will stand together and be as united as their Democratic colleagues are under House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., or in the U.S. Senate under Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.?
Don’t count on it.
Those Republican defectors in the Senate and House gave Biden and the Democrats a great Christmas and New Year's present — funding for their priorities and agenda for the entire fiscal 2023 — just before their party is scheduled to take the reins of power in the House.
The nine House members who sided with Democrats were not the only crack in the House GOP’s unity bowl.
Five House Republicans are vowing to move as a united bloc on opposing McCarthy's bid for House speaker, insisting that he will never get their votes.
Can you even begin to fathom five key Democrats ever going against the election of Pelosi as speaker?
It wouldn’t happen.
Since McCarthy can only lose four conference members to secure the magic 218 votes needed to become speaker, his becoming speaker is already on shaky ground — thanks to his fellow Republicans.
Right out of the box, Republicans are showing that, when it comes to unity, McCarthy couldn't keep his troops in line to vote against the funding bill.
He can't even be sure that he will be elected speaker.
His and the GOP's problem is that, in too many situations, Republicans, like those who supported the funding bill, are akin to a circular firing squad.
Establishment Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader McConnell, said that some of the GOP mid-term candidates had quality issues or were backed by former President Donald Trump.
McConnell’s candidate quality argument and excuses for GOP defeats are tragic examples of how the GOP often kills off its own.
Another equally tragic example can be found in Georgia.
Geoff Duncan, the Republican Lt. Governor, said that Herschel Walker would go down as "one of the worst candidates in our party’s history."
Can you imagine Democratc lieutenant governor saying that a Black Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from their state was the "worst?" Or, a Democratic U.S. Senate minority leader saying that some of their candidates had quality issues?
Republicans in the House should heed the lesson from Florida Republicans, who have shown that when Republicans stick together with a unified message, amazing things can happen.
Led by the Gov. Ron DeSantis’ tidal wave of victory, Republicans flipped enough seats to earn super majorities in both the Florida House and Senate which will make it much more difficult for Democrats to thwart the Republican agenda.
For the first time in 20 years, formerly Blue Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties are now Red.
In Palm Beach County, the local GOP Chairman, Michael Barnett, who is Black, was reelected with endorsements from former President Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
It's also noteworthy that, in the state’s Bluest County, Broward, Republican turnout (61%) exceeded total voter turnout (48%) by 13 points and Democratic turnout (50%) by 11%.
Broward GOP Chairman Tom Powers told this writer that their local candidates "had a unified message — safety, education, and the economy — and a great governor at the top of the ticket."
These GOP inroads in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties came not by abandoning and compromising principles but by standing by them.
The national GOP leadership should take lessons from Florida on how victory is won —through unity.
To paraphrase the words of the great Frank Sinatra in the song "New York, New York," if Republicans can make it in South Florida, they "can make it anywhere."
Will the GOP in the new House of Representatives be unified on making the Biden administration accountable or a circular firing squad of discord?
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations and training consulting firm in Florida. He is the author of "How Obama Failed Black America and How Trump Is Helping It." Read Clarence V. McKee's Reports — More Here.
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