When Congress began the new year, Rep. Andy Biggs gave a television interview and made a startling confession: House Republicans have done nothing they can run on.
“We have nothing. In my opinion, we have nothing to go out there and campaign on,” the Arizona Republican said on the conservative network Newsmax. “It’s embarrassing.”
Anchor Chris Salcedo responded with a bemused chuckle. “I know,” he said. “The Republican Party in the Congress majority has zero accomplishments.”
The exchange captured a dynamic that looms over Republican lawmakers heading into the 2024 election: They’ve passed little substantive legislation since winning the majority in 2022 and struggled to do the basics of governing with a Democratic-led Senate. Their first year was instead marked by fractiousness and chaos, complicating the party’s pitch to voters this fall. The challenge is accentuated by likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump making “retribution” against his enemies, rather than shared policy goals, the centerpiece of his comeback bid as he continues to spread fabricated claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
With 10 months until Election Day, Republicans still have a few opportunities to salvage what has been a historically unproductive congressional session and pass new laws in the divided government.
The frustration over the lack of achievements boiled over for Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, around Thanksgiving when he went to the floor to deliver a fiery speech that gained national attention. “I want my Republican colleagues to give me one thing — one! — that I can go campaign on and say we did. One!” Roy yelled. “Anybody sitting in the complex, you want to come down to the floor and come explain to me one material, meaningful, significant thing the Republican majority has done besides, ‘Well, I guess it’s not as bad as the Democrats.’”
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