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The Last Act of Paul Ryan's Speakership Is a Suitable Disgrace


View photos Photo credit: Alex Wong – Getty Images More From Esquire

Congress is a valuable institution. It is occasionally infuriating, but it was designed to be. It is occasionally hilarious, but that’s one of the perks of living in a democratic republic that is often starved for high-quality entertainment. But it is not often that Congress is both cruel and useless. Wednesday was one of those days.

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View photos Photo credit: MOHAMMED HUWAIS – Getty Images More By three votes, the House of Representatives advanced a farm bill, but not before the Republican leadership slipped in a provision that would turn off any possibility of the Congress‘s fast-tracking an effort to turn off American aid to Saudi Arabia due to that country’s abominable war in Yemen. And this, at roughly the same time that the Senate apparently was moving to pass a War Powers resolution limiting U.S. participation in this humanitarian atrocity.

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This is one of the last acts of Paul Ryan‘s speakership, and he richly deserves the contempt that will be heaped on him for playing legislative monkey-mischief with starving children. And in a farm bill. God, what a fake the man is. From The Hill :

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) blasted it, urging his colleagues to vote against the rule ahead of it coming to the floor.

“Mr. Speaker, I wanted to be able to vote for this rule today since I said I was going to support the underlying legislation, but my Republican friends screwed it up again,” McGovern said during floor debate. “Because tucked inside this rule is language that turns off fast-track procedures for all Yemen resolutions through the end of this Congress. That’s right – the Republican leadership has declared that the worst humanitarian conflict in the world, where the U.N. has just announced famine is taking place due to the war, is not worth the time and attention of the people’s House.”

When the new Democratic majority takes over, McGovern, who has been an ornament to public service since he was an aide to the late Joe Moakley in the 1980s, is in line to be chairman of the Rules Committee, and I can fairly well guarantee that there will be hell to pay.

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View photos Photo credit: ESSA AHMED – Getty Images More Consider what Ryan and his majority did today. They made it impossible for the United States to swiftly extricate itself from accessorial conduct in a horrible ongoing crime-by-famine, and they did it by sabotaging a bill that helps get food to people in this country.

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“The provisions of section 7 of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1546) shall not apply during the remainder of the One Hundred Fifteenth Congress to a concurrent resolution introduced pursuant to section 5 of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544) with respect to Yemen.”

That’s the rule added to the Farm Bill. That’s how Paul Ryan will leave Congress, complicit in the death by starvation of children he doesn’t even know. That’s the smoking gun in his hand

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