GOP House Freedom Caucus sabotaging Congress

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The purposefully misleadingly-named GOP House Freedom Caucus — they are crypto-fascists who do not believe in freedom or democracy — have been sabotaging Congress since they were elected as part of the Tea Party rebellion in 2010.

Former leader of the GOP House Freedom Caucus Mick Mulvaney is now President Trump’s “acting” White House Chief of Staff while simultaneously serving as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. This is the guy who calls for government shutdowns and is unconcerned about defaulting on the federal debt, Trump risks U.S. default with debt ceiling denier Mulvaney as budget chief (something which could happen this September). He is also systematically destroying consumer protections within the federal bureaucracy. Mick Mulvaney’s Master Class in Destroying a Bureaucracy From Within.

The current leaders of the GOP House Freedom Caucus are a pair of extremist assholes, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Rep. “Gym” Jordan (R-OH) (above). This pair of assholes is actively undermining congressional oversight and investigations by encouraging witnesses not to cooperate with congressional committees. This is witness tampering. This should result in a formal ethics complaint being filed against them for obstruction of Congress and witness tampering, leading to their expulsion from Congress.

Steve Benen reports, Republicans warn drug companies not to cooperate with investigation:

Earlier this year, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee took an interest in how the pharmaceutical industry sets prices on prescription medications, and Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) reached out to the major drug companies for information. None of this was especially surprising – it’s an important issue, of concern to millions of Americans, and it’s understandable that the committee would seek answers.

What’s surprising, however, is how two of the panel’s far-right members responded to the effort. BuzzFeed reported this week:

In an unusual move, House Republicans are warning drug companies against complying with a House investigation into drug prices.

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee sent letters to a dozen CEOs of major drug companies warning that information they provide to the committee could be leaked to the public by Democratic chair Elijah Cummings in an effort to tank their stock prices.

I’m not aware of anything like this ever happening before. Two members of Congress, in effect, have taken steps to undermine their own committee’s investigation of a private industry.

[R]epublicans warning an industry about cooperating with their own branch of government’s investigation seems entirely new.

BuzzFeed’s report went on to note that Jordan and Meadows – leaders of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus – want Big Pharma to believe Democrats will misuse the information drug companies provide as part of a dastardly plot to drive down stock prices.

In other words, two of Congress’ most high-profile conservatives are justifying their efforts to undermine a congressional investigation by peddling a conspiracy theory.

Cummings added that the far-right duo would apparently rather “protect drug company ‘stock prices’ than the interests of the American people.”

It doesn’t end there. Steve Benen continues, GOP lawmakers undermine probe of voter-suppression tactics:

As it happens, Oversight Committee Democrats are also examining state-level voter-suppression tactics, which as TPM reported yesterday, has led some of the same Republicans to reach out to state election officials, questioning the legitimacy of their congressional colleagues’ requests for information.

In the letters, the Republican members of Congress don’t explicitly tell those states not to comply with document requests sent last month by Democrats. Rather, the letters call into question any “valid legislative purpose” underlying the document requests and claim the inquiries raise “serious federalism concerns.”

The letters also claim that the document requests were sent by Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) without consultation with GOP committee members or the representatives from the states themselves.

The Republican correspondence to state officials, signed by Jim Jordan and several of colleagues, said federal lawmakers believed it would be “prudent” to inform them of the concerns.

“With a Democratic president, there was no allegation too small to investigate,” Elijah Cummings said this week, “but now that Donald Trump is in the White House, there is apparently no scandal too big to ignore.”

At issue are suspected voter-suppression tactics in Texas, Georgia, and Kansas, each of which generated national headlines during the 2018 election cycle.

Because election administration is largely a state issue, there’s a limit as to how much Congress can do to address the alleged injustices, especially after conservative Supreme Court justices gutted the Voting Rights Act.

That said, if Democrats intend to approve voting reforms in the coming years – when, theoretically, they may have greater power – they’ll want to lay the policy groundwork now, collecting information from states like these about partisan hurdles intended to put barriers between Americans and the ballot box.

It’s against this backdrop that Republicans on the Oversight Committee are suggesting to state election officials – with very little subtlety – that they shouldn’t be too eager to comply with congressional document requests.

These efforts to undermine federal inquiries really isn’t normal.

Nor is it legal or ethical. These congressmen are encouraging the obstruction of Congress by tampering with congressional witnesses. The usual good government watchdog organizations should be filing formal ethics complaints against this pair of assholes for their actions bordering on criminal misconduct.

Anyone who is now or has ever been a member of the crypto-fascist GOP House Freedom Caucus should be kicked out of Congress forthwith. This includes Arizona Reps. Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko and David Shweikert.