Given the ultra-partisan nature of Congress and the spite of Democrats who lost their House majority, it’s probably understandable that some would be treating the contentious battle over Kevin McCarthy’s quest to become Speaker of the House as entertainment. But they took great exception over a suggestion by a GOP congresswoman that they are eating popcorn and drinking alcohol during the proceedings.
Rep. Kat Cammack stuck a nerve on Wednesday when the Florida Republican delivered an impassioned speech to the chamber and topped it off by accusing some members of the opposing party of getting liquored up, a remark that triggered catcalls and jeers from Democrats who took great exception at being characterized as boozers in the midst of the solemn business of conducting democracy.
“Diversity of thought is a good thing. It’s one of the things that sets us apart from our friends on the other side of the aisle,” Cammack said while nominating the embattled McCarthy before the sixth ballot.
“Yes, diversity of thought is a good thing. But they want us divided. They want us to fight each other. That has been made clear by the popcorn and blankets and alcohol and blankets that is coming over there,” she added, setting off a ruckus in the seats.
(Video: Fox News)
“The House is not in order,” Cammack said as jeers rained down, prompting a scolding from the presiding clerk.
But the aggrieved Democrat lawmakers doth protest too much with ample evidence of the underlying truth of Rep. Cammack’s remarks with a number of them proudly displaying their popcorn on Twitter, including Ted Lieu who doesn’t bother to conceal his delight over the plight of his fellow Californian McCarthy.
About to go to the House Floor. pic.twitter.com/81QVxmbHBb
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 3, 2023
Chicago-area Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky brought an entire barrel of the tasty snack.
Happy first day of the 118th Congress! I can’t wait to continue my work on behalf of Illinois’ 9th Congressional District. It could be a long day, plus I want to celebrate my 35 new Democratic colleagues, so I brought Chicago’s best, @GarrettPopcorn, to share with everyone! pic.twitter.com/uFaw3f2Y8k
— Jan Schakowsky (@janschakowsky) January 3, 2023
Another Chicago Dem, Rep. Robin Kelly, also showed off her popcorn.
I’ve got my popcorn ready. 🍿 pic.twitter.com/UKmWhMabbO
— Robin Kelly (@RepRobinKelly) January 3, 2023
“If only! If Dems took a shot every time McCarthy lost a Republican, we’d all be unconscious by now,” tweeted Socialist firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez along with a cocktail glass emoji.
Despite Cammack’s praise of McCarthy, the sixth vote didn’t result in his coronation as twenty conservative Republicans continue to hold out unless there are changes made to the rules that they believe will prevent the abuses that have marked the reign of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and before her, GOP establishment golden boy Paul Ryan.
The chamber will reconvene on Thursday for at least the seventh ballot with few signs that McCarthy is moving the needle with his detractors as both sides dig in and the GOP-controlled 118th Congress remains hamstrung and unable to get down to business.
One of McCarthy’s top critics, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida said that the opposition will only end when either the “Speaker Designate” steps down or caves in to their insistence on rules changes.
“And I think this ends one of two ways,” he told Fox News anchor Trace Gallagher, “either Kevin bows out, realizing there’s no path for him to become speaker of the House even if he picks up one, two or three or five of the twenty who have opposed him a half dozen times on the floor, or he essentially has to wake up, bring the House into session, and put on a straitjacket with a rules package that we presented to him that doesn’t allow a lot of discretion for the Speaker of the House.”
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