by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
House Republicans dumping Rep. Liz Cheney from GOP leadership may be a boon for President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats heading into the 2022 midterm elections — but not after.
But should Republicans clinch control of the House and Senate in next year’s elections, as history suggests, the pro-Donald Trump political terrain will be harder for Biden to navigate, despite his campaign promises of unity and brokering bipartisan deals. First-term presidents typically lose one or both chambers, and that likely will bring the process of making laws to a halt, complicating both sides’ ability to do routine tasks like keep the federal government open.
Republicans have dismissed the idea bipartisanship was even a possibility given the leftward lean of Biden’s early priorities, dashing the Democratic president’s hope the GOP would experience an “epiphany” after the Trump presidency.
“With the Democrats rushing through an unprecedented partisan takeover of elections with their Corrupt Politicians Act, they clearly have no intention to work with Republicans and conservatives,” former Kansas GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp told the Washington Examiner.
The ex-Tea Party Caucus chairman went on: “The removal of Liz Cheney from a ceremonial position among House Republicans has absolutely no impact on this extreme Democrat agenda.”
Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr described Biden’s and Democrats’ bipartisan posturing as “laughable” after they muscled the $1.9 trillion coronavirus spending package through Congress using a fast-track process that negated the need for Republican votes. Biden and Democrats are poised to deploy the reconciliation process again to use only their own votes to pass their more than $4 trillion infrastructure-plus and social welfare plans as they maneuver within the short period of time before 2022.
But as one of ex-President Bill Clinton’s impeachment managers, Barr criticized Republicans for not ousting Cheney as conference chairwoman in February because the delay provided an opportunity for the political narrative of Trump and the 2020 election to fester.