During an appearance on Huntsville, AL radio WVNN, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, discussed the impeachment and the dynamic that exists between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and so-called far-left progressive members of the House Democratic caucus.
According to Rogers, House Democrats were not unified on much beyond the opposition to President Donald Trump. The Alabama Republican likened the situation to what former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) faced from the House Freedom Caucus when Republicans controlled the House of Representatives.
“They’re broken in various factions,” he said. “The exact same thing was happening to us when we were in the majority. We had the Freedom Caucus that evolved and they became this element that was making it impossible for us to get enough votes to move legislation that had a chance in the Senate because they wanted these extremes to be included. So, that’s one of the reasons we lost the majority. We couldn’t advance legislation because of our own team causing us problems, our own team members causing us problems.”
“Now they’ve got the exact same phenomenon, whereas we had the Freedom Caucus, they now have this socialist wing of their conference that is demanding this extreme behavior,” Rogers continued. “And if they don’t get it, they’ll try to do what the Freedom Caucus did with Boehner. They’ll just try to throw them overboard and ultimately ran them off because he couldn’t deal with them. And that’s what Pelosi is worried about.”
Rogers argued the threat was not necessarily from existing members of the House Democratic caucus but instead from members that would be perceived as vulnerable by the far-left and could be targeted for a primary challenge. According to Rogers, that threat influences Democratic members to move toward the extremes, especially with regards to impeachment.
“Their strength comes not from just the sitting members that are part of that wing but they have these progressive groups out there that are organizing to take out moderate Democrats,” Rogers explained. “That’s one of the reasons why Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, got so aggressive in those hearings on impeachment — they’re going after him. They think he’s not liberal enough. They intend to do to him what AOC did to Joe Crowley in New York. So there’s a bunch of members over there that are terrified of losing their primary.”
“And that’s what’s driving their behavior,” he added. “So, if there was a move afoot to throw Pelosi overboard, you’d see a lot of members go along with it because they’re afraid if they don’t, they would get beat in their primary — because in most of their districts, the primary is the race — just like in Alabama, the Republican primary is the race. It’s hard for a Democrat to win a general election in Alabama. In a lot of these blue states, it is the opposite way. There’s no chance of a Republican winning those seats, so you win or lose in the primary.”
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