House Republicans split over how much more to make fools of themselves over Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a question as she testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on

Because grilling Hillary Clinton for 11 hours, spending a lot of that time focusing on her emails rather than on Benghazi, worked so well for Republicans, they’re debating how hard to keep going after her emails. Former House Speaker John Boehner had kept committee chairs like Jason Chaffetz from making total asses of themselves “investigating” Clinton’s email set-up, but there’s a new speaker in town and some Republicans are hoping Paul Ryan will let them take the reins. Some of the usual suspects are all for it:

“I just think it needs to happen. … We already know [Clinton] messed up,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a member of the Benghazi and Oversight committees who remains skeptical of Clinton because a handful of her emails have surfaced from other sources, even though Republicans asked for all her Libya-related correspondence from the State Department. “It seems to me we have to

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Paul Ryan: caught between the House crazies and big business with no exit in sight

U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) pauses as he speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas - RTS5DA3

House Speaker Paul Ryan is now smack dab in the middle of the fight for the heart of the Republican Party—a Jets v. Sharks type feud between the pro-business, or Chamber of Commerce, Republicans and the tea party conservatives. Both are signifying their tepid support for him while they watch and wait, reports Carl Hulse.

The chamber and groups like the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers loved Mr. Boehner, a Chamber of Commerce Republican if ever there was one. They praise Mr. Ryan, but do not seem totally sure what to expect. Mr. Donohue called him a “quality person and someone who shares many of the views of the business community.” […]
Hard-right conservatives who know and like Mr. Ryan seem ready to give him a chance. But Heritage Action also noted that “no member of Congress is above accountability,” while FreedomWorks said, “Paul Ryan’s

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Once again, conservatives utterly defeated by Nancy Pelosi

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (L) applauds as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) reacts during an event posthumously awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol fresco painter Constantino Brumidi (1805-1880),

People celebrate victory in different ways.

My late, beloved grandmother loved to play poker. Her name was Doris. She wasn’t a World Series of Poker-level player. As a 5-year-old, I once helped her by pointing out that she was about to fold with a full house. The other ladies seated around the folding table in the rumpus room of her co-op building were none too pleased when I did.
One thing you ought not to do in poker is repeatedly overplay your hand—and the same maxim applies to politics. House Republican conservatives, known as the so-called “Freedom Caucus,” have done so repeatedly. This week, when the players in Congress finally laid down their cards, one woman—a grandmother of eight, in fact—took the pot. Her name is Nancy. Nancy Pelosi.

The House of Representatives is currently, er, blessed with the largest Republican majority since the 1928 elections brought us President Herbert

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Cartoon: Paul Ryan shrugs


We’ve heard about the kooky right wing politicians in the “Freedom Caucus,” but what about the smart budget wonk who is apparently going to reign them in? Now that House Republicans have nominated Paul Ryan to be speaker of the House, he is pledging to get things done and be the grown up in the room.

Um, this is the same Paul Ryan who proposed numerous draconian budgets that just didn’t add up, right? What he proposed in the past and was initially seen as crazy-right-wing-applesauce, has now earned him a top spot as a wise budget sage and unifying figure. Methinks we’re still in for some serious fights.  

The Freedom Caucus is so nutty, they think Paul Ryan, the guy who wants to privatize Social Security, abolish corporate income taxes, estate taxes and capital gains taxes, is a bit of a RINO squish. Well, at

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Congrats, Paul! Now disband your ridiculous Benghazi and Planned Parenthood committees

Newly elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan wields the speaker's gavel for the first time on Capitol Hill in Washington October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron  - RTX1TUEO

Hopefully Paul Ryan enjoyed basking in the glow of his speakership swearing in, cuz it’s over. Democrats promptly submitted their first request Thursday in the form of a letter from Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York, reports Jennifer Bendery:

“While your predecessor assumed the speakership with promises of restoring the House ‘as a place where the people’s will is done,’ he leaves Congress saddled with two partisan committees that waste the taxpayer’s money and distract from the true business of running the country,” Slaughter wrote. “You now have the chance for a fresh start.”
The Benghazi committee has spent nearly $5 million investigating the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, despite seven previous congressional investigations into the incident finding no wrongdoing by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. […]

“Dismantling this committee should be the easiest decision of your speakership, and would send a clear signal that

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Paul Ryan elected Speaker of the House

Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan, John Boehner as Ryan becomes Speaker of the House. 10/29/2015

The remarkable debacle kicked off last month when John Boehner announced he was leaving Congress and the speakership has finally been resolved. Rep. Paul Ryan won the Republican conference’s nomination to be Speaker of the House on Wednesday, but only got 200 of the necessary 218 votes needed to win the full floor vote. That united front of opposition from the Freedom Caucus types melted Thursday morning, when their chosen candidate Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) urged his supporters to support Ryan. Reps. David Brat (VA), Curt Clawson (FL), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Walter Jones (NC), Tom Massie (KY), Bill Posey (FL), Randy Weber (TX) and Ted Yoho (FL) voted Webster anyway, and in the final vote, Ryan easily got the votes he needed, 236.
How he got to the point of securing those votes is the subject of a Politico article this morning.

When North Carolina Rep. Mark

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House passes budget agreement, debt ceiling hike

Screenshot of House vote on budget/debt ceiling agreement, 10/28/2015.

The House passed the budget and debt ceiling deal negotiated by outgoing Speaker John Boehner, his congressional leadership counterparts, and the White House Wednesday, in a 266-167 vote. Democrats voted unanimously for the bill, the majority of Republicans against it.
In addition to setting spending levels for the next two years, the deal takes an immediate threat off the table—the debt ceiling has to be raised by November 3 or the government risks defaulting on our debts. The House acted in time to avoid that—and take a critical hostage away from the nihilists among them—and will still be able to take Friday of this week off, presumably needing the extra time to get their Halloween costumes together. This debt ceiling will be lifted until March 2017 in this bill.

The new spending levels break the sequester caps, increasing spending overall in the next two years by $112 billion. Of that,

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