Among Republicans, Worries Raised About Infighting

Senate Republicans unhappy with counterparts in the House
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2021 11:05 AM CST
Republicans in Strong Shape, but Infighting Is a New Concern
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks at the podium joined by other Republican members of the House on Wednesday on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By most political forecasts—including this new one at Roll Call—Republicans stand a good chance of retaking the House next year. But another theme is emerging in coverage as well: Friction within the House GOP is getting worse and threatening to hurt the party's progress. The Hill, for example, has a story about how Republicans in the Senate are incredulous about the House infighting. One big issue is that House conservatives who are allies of former President Trump want to punish Republicans who voted for President Biden's infrastructure bill by stripping them of committee assignments. "That's just not a smart thing to do," says Senate Minority Whip John Thune. "Retaliatory actions like that, I think, are counterproductive in the long run." Another GOP senator, Mitt Romney, calls it "nuts."

It's unlikely that any Republicans will actually be stripped of their assignments over a legislative vote, "but the fact that there's even a serious discussion of it is causing heartburn," writes Alexander Bolton at the Hill. Politico has a story with a similar theme, mentioning both the potential retaliation and controversy created by GOP Rep. Paul Gosar, who was censured for posting an anime video that features him killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. "I find it unfortunate," GOP Rep. Daniel Meuser tells the outlet. "It's a shame these self-inflicted injuries occur. But that's all it is and we're gonna get past that because there's far more important things to be concerned with."

All this comes as Biden's poll numbers are tanking, inflation is on the rise, and Democrats are suffering infighting of their own. Republicans should be "riding high," but "instead, GOP drama is dominating headlines," write Olivia Beavers and Sarah Ferris. Not that all the news is bad for the GOP on this front. A new poll from Quinnipiac University finds that more Americans want Republicans to take over the House (46% to 38%) and the Senate (46% to 40%) in the midterms. In the poll, 52% say the Democratic Party has moved too far to the left, compared to just 35% who say the GOP has moved too far to the right. (More House Republicans stories.)

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