When the House Republicans who initially refused to accept Kevin McCarthy as speaker finally agreed to do so back in January, they allegedly received assurances from him and his supporters that McCarthy would genuinely oppose Democrat initiatives, not just go along with them as a controlled opposition. And that seems to be the case with the new debt ceiling deal, as Biden's handlers appear to have made some significant concessions to McCarthy. However, it would be premature to think that the worst days of the uniparty are behind us. McCarthy has just given us a disquieting indication that he isn't completely the reformed RINO he has seemed to be of late.
On Sunday, McCarthy declared confidently on FOX News Sunday that his deal with the devil — er, that is, with Old Joe Biden — was a "step in the right direction" for the GOP. He asserted that "more than 95 percent of all those in the conference were very excited" about the deal, and gave some reasons why: "We finally were able to cut spending. We're the first Congress to vote for cutting spending year over year. So, you cut that back, you fully fund the veterans, you fully fund defense, but you take that nondefense spending all the way back lower than '22 levels." That does sound swell indeed, and McCarthy wasn't finished.
The man who will go down in history as the successor of Nancy Pelosi then boasted about how his tough negotiating tactics had forced the Democrats to make concessions, particularly on new rules that some of those receiving government handouts had to do something for the money: "Now you get work requirements for TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] and SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program], where the Democrats said that was a red line."