A new year, a new Congress and a divided government. But Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, of Pennsylvania, and Democrat Josh Gottheimer, of New Jersey, still believe that, in a divided House controlled by the GOP, good things can happen. “Most people have never heard of us,” Fitzpatrick said. They say, “Really? There’s a group of Democrats and Republicans that get together and sit down?”
“Is it realistic that you can actually solve the problems of time?” Kostas asked.
“Yes, and we have no choice. We have to.”
But these moderates, who lead the Troubleshooters, could face challenges from troublemakers. Costa asked: “How do you get attention if you’re competing with a bomber?”
“Well, we’re wrapping things up,” Gottheimer replied. “So when the infrastructure bill came to the finish line, we, along with our colleagues in the Senate, were negotiating for months. You know, there would be nothing against getting something done.”
But before any deal, many Republicans say it’s time for investigations. Rep. James Comer, R-Kentucky, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee (whose Republicans had been investigating the Biden family), said on Nov. 17: “I want to be clear: This is an investigation into Joe Biden, and that is where this committee will focus in this next Congress.”
Costa asked New York Times Magazine writer Robert Draper, “Does it look like you have a bucket of cold water to throw on any hope that this will be a happy Congress?”
“It’s nice if you liked the malfunction!” laughed.
Draper is the author of “Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost Its Mind.”
He said, “For those people who would like to see things end, I don’t think this Republican conference is equipped to do that. They’re very hesitant, and I think the loudest voices in the room are the ones who really care. more about politics as performance than governance’.
Costa said, “There’s a shadow hanging over Capitol Hill, still, since Jan. 6; you have so many Republicans in the House trying to overturn the election and they’re still there, right?”
“That’s right, and there are not only Republicans who are still where they voted not to ratify the election, but there are Democrats who remember it well,” Draper responded.
And some Republicans say impeachment is on the table.
“When we turn on the TV in the spring, is it just going to be investigation after investigation, hearing after hearing, about the Biden family and the Biden administration?” Kostas asked.
“Right away, yes,” Draper said. “I think that’s the low-hanging fruit that Republicans, for the most part, can agree on — that they’re going to be the payback party when they take back the majority.”
History, however, shows that presidents can push back. And never forget that they hold that veto pen.
For more information:
Story production by Ed Forgotson and Amy Wall. Editor: Remington Korper.