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McCarthy Vows to Tackle 'the Swamp' as GOP Votes to Repeal Funds for 87,000 New IRS Workers

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks to reporters as he walks to the speaker's ceremonial office at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) talks to reporters as he walks to the speaker's ceremonial office at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Republicans hope to show they can work together and put last week's drama over the House Speaker's race behind them. They're ready to shift into work mode with priorities that include defending the unborn and standing up to China.

Newly minted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) survived 15 rounds of voting and unrest in his own party before securing the Speaker's gavel. The first votes under his leadership weren't nearly as contentious. 

The House passed a rules package with only one Republican "no" vote. The typically routine procedures were a sticking point in negotiations. McCarthy made multiple concessions to conservatives in his party to secure the speakership. 

Among those changes: doing away with omnibus spending bills and requiring a 72-hour review before a vote, as well as reversing a pandemic-era procedure allowing members to vote from remote locations.

"This rules package is a rules package that reflects this body, the entirety of the Republican Party, on making sure that we restore the People's House and we are united to do that," said Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) on the House floor.

The Republicans' second-in-command House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) tweeted more about their agenda:

Republicans then successfully passed their first bill by repealing a large chunk of funding for the IRS meant to help hire 87,000 new employees over the next 10 years. Democrats argued the resources were necessary. 

"Our government should have the resources necessary to ensure that it's not just the middle class that pays our bills and pays our debt, but the wealthy tax dodgers that pay their taxes," said Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA). 

Other priorities will include committees focusing on the communist Chinese regime, including a bill this week that would prevent exporting oil products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China.
There are also two pro-life measures scheduled for week one, including a Born Alive bill that would penalize doctors who don't provide life-saving care to babies who survive an attempted abortion. There will also be a resolution condemning attacks on crisis pregnancy centers and religious groups. 

READ: This Born-Alive Abortion Survivor Is a Living Argument Against Infanticide

"We think it's important that they set the tone showing that the pro-life issue is extremely important to the party and to this Congress," said Jamie Dangers with Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. 

The House will also look to pass a bill next week codifying the Hyde amendment which prohibits federal funding for abortions.

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McCarthy is making it clear he intends to take on the Washington establishment.

"We will hold the swamp accountable. From the withdrawal of Afghanistan to the origins of COVID and to the weaponization of the FBI," McCarthy said.

"Let me be very clear. We will use the power of the purse and the power of the subpoena to get the job done," he said.  


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