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Perspective: So how did Kevin McCarthy become House Speaker?

C-Span/Public Domain
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Let us attempt the impossible and try to explain how Kevin McCarthy became the Speaker of the House of Representatives. There were, of course, vivid recriminations, but there was much more. This was not, finally, a personality conflict. It was a clash over how to structure decision making.

The lengthy list of concessions by McCarthy focused primarily on procedure rather than on policy. The demand was to decentralize authority, to flatten the organizational pyramid. McCarthy was compelled to agree to simplify and extend the process in order to be more deliberate and inclusive when legislating.

The new Republican majority will be much more conservative than the previous Democratic majority. There will be vigorous, even harsh, debate over policy. This internal dispute, however, focused on how to make policy rather than over what that policy should be.

This vociferous debate is settled, at least temporarily. Now Congress actually must legislate, which necessitates reconciling differences. Which structures and procedures would better advance the effort? Would it be the centralized, structured, formal procedures of the Democrats or the literally opposite procedures now adopted by the Republicans? The fate of our nation literally hangs in the balance.

I’m Bob Evans and that is my perspective.

Robert Evans is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics, Business and Accounting at Rockford University and Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. He is actively involved in the Rockford University public policy program, trains managers on law-related topics, is a political consultant and analyst, and also serves on non-profit boards.