BRIT HUME: One reason the job of House Speaker is proving hard to fill is a significant percentage of the Republican base believes that the GOP leadership has been utterly supine, despite its congressional majorities.
This notion is held dear by the Freedom Caucus, who helped force John Boehner out and [blocked] Kevin McCarthy's succession.
A famous claim of their supporters is that the GOP Congress has "given Obama everything he wants."
It is utter nonsense. Here is a partial list of items Mr. Obama has requested from Congress since the GOP took the House back in 2010:
-- The American Jobs Act
-- The Paycheck Fairness Act
-- An increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour
-- An array of gun control measures
-- Universal pre-kindergarten education
-- A week's paid sick leave for all
-- Higher tax rates on the rich
-- A new minimum tax on multinational companies
-- Overhaul and expansion of unemployment benefits
These diverse proposals have one thing in common: they went nowhere because congressional Republicans blocked them all. Of course, with Senate Democrats willing to filibuster, the President with his veto pen and plenty of votes to sustain him, the Republican agenda hasn't gone anywhere either. The House GOP hardliners like to characterize this as "surrender," but a much better word for it would be stalemate.
The House GOP hardliners like to characterize this as surrender, but a much better word for it would be stalemate.
BRET BAIER: There are some lawmakers up there who say, "You know what, we should just pass it. We should just pass the bills that the GOP wants to pass and send them to the President's desk," if they can through the Senate, and just do it even though they face vetoes.
BRIT HUME: Yeah, the sense seems to be that if the President had to deal with that--to deal with vetoing bills--that it would sort of change the political atmosphere; Obama would be exposed forever for what he is. Well, think of this: they did do that. They got the Keystone Pipeline measure through the House, got enough Democrats to get it voted on. It passed the Senate, went to the President. He vetoed it. The votes were there to sustain it, and that was the end of it. And have we heard anything about it since? The answer is no.
BRET BAIER: All right, Brit. Thank you.