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Subpoena Rules GOP Created To Aid Their Cause Could Backfired In Their Face, Aid Democrats

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People do stupid and selfish things all the time. Isn’t it just wonderful when Karma turns up out of the blue and makes them wish they had thought it through a bit better the first time around?

That’s exactly what is happening to House Republicans right now. Three years ago, they introduced sweeping new rules regarding subpoenas, basically giving themselves a ton more power and getting rid of lots of accountability in the process. The new rules introduced by GOP representatives back in 2015 means that the committee chairpeople can issue subpoenas without consulting the minority party at all.

Now that the Republicans occupy the chair seats and the Democrats are the minority, that’s all good for them. But with the midterms getting closer by the day and the Democrats set to make gains in the House, those senior GOP members might well soon find themselves on the receiving end of that very same rule.

Back when the change was made in 2015, Democrats were furious. They denounced the move as a blatant power-grab by the GOP and likened it to McCarthyism. House Republicans brandished it numerous times against Obama officials while the Democrats had no choice but to sit by and watch. If the polls are right and the Democrats take the House in the midterms, that could all turn on its head.

Democrats are making no secret of their delight at the possibility of this. Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia put it brilliantly. “The Republicans have set the standard and, by God, we’re going to emulate that standard,” he said with barely contained glee.

Officially, the Dems haven’t actually said that they’ll be keeping the subpoena authority rule in place, if they end up in charge. However, given the political climate, it seems very unlikely that they would bypass this golden opportunity.

Image: Ron Cogswell/Flickr

If the Democrats do manage to make those gains they’re predicted and wield that weapon helpfully provided for them by the GOP, they will be in a great position to target Trump and his closest allies and make their political lives a living hell. (Thinking about it, this might be why so many of them are dying to quit.)

Trump’s governmental successes, few as they are, could be called into question. Remember the tax cuts bill? “The biggest in the history of our country!” (It wasn’t.) That would likely be one of the Dems’ first targets. They would probably also want to launch probes into lots of senior Trump officials, likely starting with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The possibilities are endless.


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