Newly leaked video footage of a recent event hosted by the right-wing group Patriot Voices shows Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas openly admitting that his party wants “18 more months of chaos and the inability to get stuff done” as President Joe Biden, a bipartisan group of senators, and congressional Democrats work to pass climate and infrastructure legislation.
“Honestly, right now, for the next 18 months, our job is to do everything we can to slow all of that down to get to December of 2022,” Roy says in the clip, referring to the month after that year’s midterm elections. Republicans need to flip just a handful of seats to take back the House and Senate.
“I don’t vote for anything in the House of Representatives right now,” Roy says in response to an audience member’s question about the sweeping infrastructure and safety-net package that Democrats are planning to pass unilaterally alongside a White House-backed bipartisan deal.
In the video that emerged Tuesday, the Texas Republican dismisses the Democratic reconciliation package — which progressives hope will include at least $6 trillion in spending on climate programs, Medicare expansion, and other priorities left out of the bipartisan plan — as “liberal garbage.”
Watch the video, which was posted by Lauren Windsor of The Undercurrent:
Roy’s articulation of the Republican Party’s strategic thinking is hardly a diversion from what the GOP leadership has said publicly, but it was viewed as further evidence that the bulk of the minority party is not interested in good-faith legislative talks with the Democratic majority.
“Chip Roy says what we all already know: there is no intent of working across the aisle. It’s all posturing for bullshit and chaos,” tweeted advocacy group Indivisible Houston.
Ezra Levin, co-director of Indivisible, noted that “Chip Roy got caught saying it out loud, but to be clear this has been [Senate Minority Leader] McConnell’s plan all along.”
As the clip of Roy circulated online Tuesday, McConnell (R-Ky.) told a Kentucky audience that Republicans intend to give Democrats a “hell of a fight” over their plans to pass a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure bill using the budget reconciliation process, which is exempt from the Senate’s 60-vote legislative filibuster — an archaic tool that McConnell has repeatedly used to obstruct Democratic legislation.
The Senate Budget Committee, headed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), is currently hashing out the parameters of the reconciliation bill.
“The era of bipartisanship on this stuff is over,” McConnell said of the reconciliation package. “There is a process by which they could pass this without a single Republican. But we’re going to make it hard for them. And there are a few Democrats left in rural American and some others who would like to be more in the political center who may find this offensive.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, noted Monday that “not a single Republican voted for the American Rescue Plan,” a popular $1.9 trillion reconciliation package that included direct relief payments, an extension of emergency unemployment programs, and funding for vaccine distribution.
“We have no reason to believe that Mitch ‘100% of my focus is on stopping this new administration’ McConnell will let them vote for an infrastructure deal,” Jayapal added.