McConnell says Senate trial for Mayorkas impeachment is the ‘best way forward’

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Tuesday he supports a full impeachment trial for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the border crisis.

"I think that would be the best way to go forward," McConnell told reporters after the weekly Senate GOP leadership press conference.

Top GOP leader behind McConnell, Republican Whip Sen. John Thune, also called for a full impeachment trial, while more GOP lawmakers argue Democrats are attempting to short circuit a trial. 

"The House of Representatives has determined that Secretary Mayorkas has committed impeachable offenses. That issue will come before the United States Senate. I believe the Senate needs to hold a trial," Thune announced. 

CONGRESS LIKELY TO PUNT GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN DEADLINES AGAIN, SOURCES SAY

"I’m going to make the argument — and I’m sure the Democrats will try to dismiss it — that we ought to be having a trial, conducting a trial of the United States Senate to determine whether these are impeachable offenses," he went on.

Senate conservatives have been putting pressure on Republican leadership to push forward with a trial as it's unclear whether the Democrat-controlled Senate will move forward with the House's articles. 

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is one of the lawmakers pushing for a full trial. He told Fox News Digital Tuesday that "we have got to make sure we have a real trial and get to real facts about what's going on here."

"So if he thinks he's done such a great job come and explain it. But what they want to do is they want to short circuit this," he said. 

TRUMP MOVES CLOSER TO LOCKING UP GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION WITH 20-POINT WIN IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Scott, alongside nearly a dozen Senate Republicans, signed a letter led by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, last week urging McConnell "ensure that the Senate conducts a proper trial, and that every senator, Republican and Democratic, adjudicates this matter when the Senate returns."

"According to multiple briefings by your staff, Majority Leader Schumer and Senate Democrats intend to dispense with the articles of impeachment by simply tabling both individually," Lee wrote. "This is an action rarely contemplated and never taken by the U.S. Senate in the history of our Republic."

Meanwhile, Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., didn't give clarity on Tuesday about whether a trial would be scheduled. After the House voted to impeach Mayorkas earlier this month, Schumer assured a trial would proceed this week. That now appears to be unlikely as a partial government shutdown looms. 

HOUSE VOTES TO IMPEACH DHS SECRETARY MAYORKAS OVER BORDER CRISIS

"Look, as I’ve said, the impeachment of Mayorkas is absurd. There’s not one drop of evidence that leads to any kind of charge of impeachment, and we’re going to handle it in the best way possible," Schumer told reporters on Tuesday.

There is also growing frustration among the 11 House impeachment managers about when they will present their articles to the Senate in the case of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

House managers serve as "prosecutors" and argue the impeachment case before the Senate

One impeachment manager told Fox they had been given "no clear guidance" about the roles they might play or when the House may even transmit the articles to the Senate. 

Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report. 

Fox News Politics: Biden’s Muslim problem

Welcome to Fox News’ Politics newsletter with the latest political news from Washington D.C. and updates from the 2024 campaign trail. 

What's Happening? 

- Biden calls for ceasefire over ice cream

- Squad member Tlaib proposes paying homeless people $1400/month

- Poll reveals what Americans think of the border crisis

Michigan holds presidential primaries Tuesday, and for once there's more drama on the Democratic side than the GOP. 

A campaign to vote "uncommitted" on the Democratic Party's ballot has been gathering steam, fueled by anger over President Biden's support for Israel in its war against Hamas.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. — the first Palestinian-American elected to the U.S. House — has urged Michigan Democrats to vote "uncommitted" in protest of Biden's Israel policy.

Democratic strategist James Carville said Monday that the Michigan protest vote against Biden is a "huge problem" for the party. But how much Biden will be embarrassed by the vote in the Michigan primary today remains to be seen.

"I think we just kinda have to wait until they count the ballots tonight and see what it does and make a determination," Carville told CNN this week. "But regardless of what happens, this Gaza thing is really tearing the Democratic Party, I don't want to say tearing apart, but it certainly, there are certainly divisions within the party, and a lot of people just don‘t like this," he said during the media appearance. 

Follow results from Michigan's presidential primaries at the Fox News election center

BRAIN FREEZE: Biden on ice cream outing with Seth Meyers says he hopes for Gaza ceasefire by ‘end of the weekend’ …Read more

'BLOOD MONEY': Scathing details reveal why Biden appears 'silent' on China's role in fentanyl crisis: book …Read more

BEEF WITH BIDEN: Biden under bipartisan fire for lifting ban on Paraguayan beef imports …Read more

BIG SPENDING: Squad member Tlaib proposes paying some homeless people $1,400 per month for 3 years …Read more

'UGLY RECORD': Sen Hawley warns consulting firms against working with China to 'undermine America' …Read more

'CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS': McCaul makes harshest threat yet accusing Biden official of stonewalling Afghanistan probe …Read more

BLOCKBUSTER WEEK: Congress has Hunter's testimony, impeachment chaos and more -- all with a shutdown looming …Read more

'UP THERE WITH CHLAMYDIA': Sen. Kennedy compares Biden's polling numbers to an STD after failure of 'Bidenomics' …Read more

MICHIGAN VOTES: Republicans, Democrats in major battleground state to cast votes in party primaries …Read more

'I'LL BRING THE HEAT': Pro-Trump House candidate takes flamethrower to 'Biden's agenda' in fiery new ad …Read more

COMING OUT SWINGING: GOP becoming 'playpen' for Trump, Nikki Haley claims …Read more

'NO PEACE': Dems thrust Kari Lake, McCain feud into spotlight as crucial Senate battle heats up …Read more

'REAL ISSUE': Ex-Obama aides worry about Biden's age, say he appears 'frail' …Read more

TARGETING TRUMP: NY AG taunts former president about interest he owes on civil fraud judgment …Read more

FLAG BAN: Tennessee House passes bill that would largely ban LGBTQ flags in public school classrooms …Read more

'PURVEYOR OF CCP PROPAGANDA': Controversial Chinese official celebrates Lunar New Year parade alongside top New York Dems …Read more

'CRITICAL THREAT': Poll shows how Americans view border crisis …Read more

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House Republicans subpoena DOJ for materials related to Special Counsel Hur interview of Joe Biden

House Republicans have subpoenaed Special Counsel Robert Hur for the transcript and any recordings of President Biden’s interview from the investigation into the president’s mishandling of classified documents.

Republicans leading the impeachment inquiry — House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan and House Ways & Means Committee Chair Jason Smith — requested the materials related to Biden's October 2023 interview be turned over to Congress earlier this month and set a deadline of Feb. 19. That deadline was not met, but the Justice Department said it was "working to gather and process" responsive documents. 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS DEMAND TRANSCRIPT OF BIDEN’S INTERVIEW WITH SPECIAL COUNSEL AS PART OF IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

The subpoena, reviewed by Fox News Digital, compels the Justice Department to produce all documents and communications, including audio and video recordings, related to Hur's interview of Biden. 

The subpoena also covers all documents and communications, including audio and video recordings, related to Hur's interview of the ghost writer of Biden's memoir, Mark Zwonitzer; documents identified as "A9" and "A10" in the Appendix A of Hur's report, which relate to then-Vice President Joe Biden's Dec. 11, 2015 call with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk; and all communications between or among representatives of the Department of Justice, including the Office of Special Counsel, the Executive Office of the President, and President Biden's personal counsel referring or relating to Hur's report.  

BIDEN, NOT SPECIAL COUNSEL HUR, BROUGHT UP SON'S DEATH IN QUESTIONING

Fox News Digital obtained a letter the Republicans sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday, notifying the department of the subpoena, and taking issue with the fact that the DOJ, earlier this month, "offered no timeframe by which it expected to make any productions or, indeed, any commitment that it would produce all of the material requested." 

"The Oversight and Judiciary Committees, in coordination with the Ways and Means Committee, are investigating whether sufficient grounds exist to draft articles of impeachment against President Biden for consideration by the full House," they wrote. "The Committees are concerned that President Biden may have retained sensitive documents related to specific countries involving his family's foreign business dealings." 

SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT HUR TO TESTIFY PUBLICLY AT HOUSE HEARING ON BIDEN CLASSIFIED RECORDS PROBE

The Republicans are also seeking information on "whether the White House or President Biden’s personal attorneys placed any limitations or scoping restrictions during the interviews with Special Counsel Hur or Mr. Mark Zwonitzer precluding or addressing any potential statements directly linking President Biden to troublesome foreign payments."

"Additionally, the Judiciary Committee requires these materials for its ongoing oversight of the Department’s commitment to impartial justice and its handling of the investigation and prosecution of President Biden’s presumptive opponent, President Donald J. Trump, in the November 2024 presidential election," the letter states. "The documents requested are directly relevant to both the impeachment inquiry and the Judiciary Committee’s legislative oversight of the Department." 

DOJ DEFENDS SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT ON BIDEN'S MEMORY: 'CONSISTENT WITH LEGAL REQUIREMENT,' NOT 'GRATUITOUS'

Hur, who released his report to the public earlier this month after months of investigating, did not recommend criminal charges against Biden for mishandling and retaining classified documents and stated that he wouldn't bring charges against Biden even if he were not in the Oval Office.

Those records included classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan and other countries, among other records related to national security and foreign policy, which Hur said implicated "sensitive intelligence sources and methods."

Hur did not recommend any charges against the president but did describe him as a "sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory" — a description that has raised significant concerns for Biden's 2024 re-election campaign.

Looming shutdowns, Hunter’s testimony, maybe an impeachment: Congress’ blockbuster week

There are blockbuster weeks on Capitol Hill, and then there are weeks like this one. 

Hunter Biden is testifying. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is explaining. A partial government shutdown is looming.

"Congress hasn’t even finished our deadlines from the previous fiscal year. I mean, Oct. 1 was the deadline," fumed Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, on FOX Business. "Before I was in Congress, I was in manufacturing. And if you were making bad parts, you would at least stop making bad parts."

Davidson observed that Congress continues to even make "bad parts, and we’re not even in session." 

Some conservatives say they are okay with a shutdown starting this weekend. They believe a shutdown would at least harness some spending.

"A government shutdown is not ideal. But it’s not the worst thing," said the House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Bob Good, R-Va. "The only leverage we have, when we have one branch, is to be willing to say no. To be willing to walk away."

BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE: FEBRUARY HAS BEEN AN UNMITIGATED DISASTER FOR REPUBLICANS

Conservatives are begging House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to abandon a government spending pact he crafted with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and others in early January. The accord did not fund the government — hence the funding problem lawmakers face this weekend. That agreement simply established the size of the money pie for fiscal year 2024. Leaders agreed that Congress would spend a grand total of $1.59 trillion for fiscal year 2024. But on what? And how? Those issues remain unresolved. That is why lawmakers have toiled over for nearly two months now – trying to slice $1.59 trillion into 12 separate appropriations bills. It was thought there may be an agreement over the weekend. However, matters imploded. 

Johnson told Fox News Tuesday that he is working to prevent the government spending from lapsing. 

"We're gonna prevent the shutdown. We're working on it," Johnson said.

"The problem is that Speaker Johnson is indecisive. He’s weak. He’s inexperienced and he does not have the votes. Not only because it’s a tight majority. But also because there is a far right group of House Republicans who are blocking him everywhere he wants to go," said Tom Kahn, a distinguished fellow at American University and former House Budget Committee staff director. "I think he’s afraid to make decisions because he’s afraid to lose his job. He saw what happened to his predecessor, (former House Speaker) Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif."

So, conservatives are now pushing an interim spending bill — something which was anathema to many on the right just a few months ago. They used to demand that Congress pass spending bills "by the book." One by one. Now, conservatives are okay with a stopgap plan, known as a continuing resolution (CR). Federal spending climbs year after year. A CR simply renews all the old funding — without an increase. This gambit maintains the old spending levels. It is not a cut, but there is no new funding. Thus, to conservatives, it saves money.

"This is why I support a continuing resolution, which actually is going to force a 1% cut. $100 billion savings and maybe stabilize this inflation issue" said Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., on Fox.

Democrats — and some Republicans — find this thinking outrageous.

"It’s very disappointing to see that the House has been so unwilling to compromise and work together," said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. "We’ve just had obstacles every step of the way."

However, most lawmakers are resigned to believing a CR may be the only way to avoid a shutdown. 

"Things are pretty uncertain right now," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex. "I think we’re heading toward a CR for some uncertain duration."

The deadline is Friday night at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. 

"It’s going to be hard enough to meet that 72-hour requirement by Friday," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill. "So I don’t know if a CR is possible." 

Here is what is at stake. A partial shutdown stalls transportation and housing programs. It suspends money for agriculture and military construction. A government closure holds up energy and water projects.

However, a full shutdown for the entire federal government could hit at the end of the day on March 8. 

Top bipartisan Senate leaders are trying to avert a shutdown. 

"The margin for error on any of these is razor thin. And unfortunately, the temptation to choose chaos and disorder instead of cooperation will be strong for some here in the Capitol," said Schumer. 

Schumer secured backup from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. 

"Once more, a shutdown this week is entirely, avoidable," said McConnell. "Shutting down the government is harmful to the country. And it never produces positive outcomes – on policy or politics." 

However, not all lawmakers are focused on government spending.

Hunter Biden testifies behind closed doors on Wednesday before House investigators. Austin will explain to livid lawmakers on Thursday as to why he failed to inform the president or other Pentagon officials about his medical leave. Then, we’re on to a partial government shutdown Friday. 

This is just an average winter in Congress these days.

GROWING FRUSTRATION AMONG MAYORKAS IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS ABOUT NOT STARTING A TRIAL

What about an impeachment trial for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas? The House impeached Mayorkas on Feb. 13. No one really knows the timing of a Senate trial. Eleven House members will serve as "impeachment managers" to prosecute the case before the Senate. But as to their roles and when a Senate trial might begin? The new uniform pants in Major League Baseball are more transparent. 

Several of the managers expressed frustration at the dearth of information about what roles they might play in an impeachment trial. One told Fox they had "no clear guidance" from the GOP brass as to what to expect. 

In late 2019 and early 2020, Democratic House impeachment managers held "mock trial" sessions and engaged in parliamentary calisthenics behind closed doors to prepare for the first impeachment trial of former President Trump. The Mayorkas managers have held no such sessions. That was why at least one impeachment manager worried that the Senate might demand the trial begin right away. That could make the House members appear foolish and amateurish. 

However, a senior House Republican leadership aide said that the brass had briefed all managers — adding they would be "fully prepared" when a trial starts.

It was thought that the Senate may begin its trial as early as Wednesday, but Fox is told not to expect a trial this week. In fact, the impeachment trial may be on hiatus — until lawmakers figure out how to fund the government. 

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So this week is a blockbuster as it is. 

But imagine what it would have been like had there also been the impeachment trial of Mayorkas — the first impeachment trial of a cabinet secretary since the 1870s.

Judge rules no bail release for FBI informant accused of lying about Biden business ties

A California federal judge on Monday denied a bail release to ex-FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, who stands accused of lying about the Biden family's business ties.

U.S. District Judge Otis Wright ordered that Smirnov would remain in detention ahead of his trial, concurring with prosecutors who argued he presented a high flight risk. Lawyers for Smirnov argued that he had already invested significant funds into his efforts to defeat the charges, indicating he had no intention to flee.

"He didn’t try to run. He didn’t try to move money," defense lawyer David Chesnoff said of Smirnov's conduct in recent days.

Wright was unconvinced, however, telling Smirnov that he was "not satisfied there are conditions … that will satisfy my concern whether you will flee the jurisdiction."

FBI REPORTEDLY INVESTIGATING CONTROVERSIAL DEMOCRATIC MAYOR WHO SCHMOOZED WITH BIDEN LAST MONTH

Prosecutors pointed to Smirnov's wide range of connections and a bank account held under his girlfriend's name that contains $3.7 million.

HUNTER BIDEN WAS PAID $100K A MONTH THROUGH CHINESE FIRM VENTURE, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIED

"He cannot be trusted," prosecutor Leo Wise told Judge Wright.

The defense countered that they were willing to pay for 24/7 private security to ensure Smirnov did not flee. They also committed to renting an apartment in Los Angeles for the duration of the trial, rather than returning to his home in Las Vegas, but the judge dismissed the effort.

Smirnov, 43, has been transferred to California from Nevada for his trial. Prosecutors have charged him with peddling lies "that could impact U.S. elections," highlighting his alleged lies about a supposed multimillion-dollar bribery scheme involving the Bidens and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Prosecutors say Smirnov falsely told his handler that Burisma executives paid then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter $5 million each around 2015. The claim became a part of the Republican impeachment inquiry in Congress.

He is charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record. The charges were filed in Los Angeles.

Fox News' Louis Casiano and David Spunt contributed to this report.

Growing frustration among Mayorkas impeachment managers about not starting a trial

There is growing frustration among the 11 House impeachment managers about when they will present their articles to the Senate in the case of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

House managers serve as "prosecutors" and argue the impeachment case before the Senate

One impeachment manager told Fox they had been given "no clear guidance" about the roles they might play or when the House may even transmit the articles to the Senate. 

Fox was told the earliest the Senate could begin a trial is Wednesday. However, the decision lies at the feet of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA). 

RANCHER SOUNDS ALARM ON ‘ROUTE’ FOR TERROR AS MAYORKAS DENIES RESPONSIBILITY FOR MASS BORDER CROSSINGS

Some House Republicans – and some impeachment managers – are itching to get started, but that could backfire without preparation.

Fox was told two weeks ago that House impeachment managers believed they might meet late last week to prep and organize – even doing "mock trial" sessions. Democrats who were impeachment managers conducted such dry runs in late 2019 and early 2020 ahead of the first impeachment trial of former President Trump. However, such sessions never materialized, although there were conversations among chiefs of staff for the impeachment managers.

HOUSE VOTES TO IMPEACH DHS SECRETARY MAYORKAS OVER BORDER CRISIS

"We hoped to get clarity on the next steps two weeks ago, if not the end of last week," said one frustrated manager. 

There has been some chatter that the House might not even send over the impeachment articles until the issue of two looming government shutdowns subsides.

Managers expressed concern about how they should prepare or if the managers would be assigned "subject lanes" to argue before the Senate.

One manager feared that House leaders might want to send over the articles promptly, initiating a trial without any preparation. The manager worried how that would look if Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) decides to give impeachment managers some latitude and present their arguments. 

"We might fall on our face," said one manager.

House Republican critical of Biden impeachment push demands his removal via 25th Amendment

FIRST ON FOX: A House Republican who has been critical of rushing to impeach President Biden is calling for his removal over questions about his mental fitness for the job.

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., told Fox News Digital that he plans to introduce a resolution on Monday to call on Biden’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. 

His most-cited reason was Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on Biden’s handling of classified documents. The report did not recommend any charges for the president but repeatedly painted him as an aging leader with a poor memory.

Buck said the report "addressed what many Americans have long witnessed with their own eyes – that President Biden is no longer fit to successfully discharge the critical duties of his office."

JAMES BIDEN SAYS HIS BROTHER 'HAS NEVER HAD ANY INVOLVEMENT' OR ANY 'FINANCIAL INTEREST' IN BUSINESS VENTURES

"Numerous instances were articulated in the report, and have played out in full public view, showing President Biden’s apparent cognitive decline and lack of mental stamina," he told Fox News Digital.

"The societal challenges and security threats our country faces are innumerable and require a chief executive with both strong mental and physical faculties. The time has come for the vice president and the Cabinet to put our country first and move forward on invoking the 25th Amendment."

DEVON ARCHER: HUNTER BIDEN, BURISMA EXECS ‘CALLED DC’ TO GET UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR FIRED

In his resolution text, Buck also cited Biden’s verbal stumbles and public gaffes as evidence of mental decline. It pointed out that Biden recently confused French President Emmanuel Macron with a predecessor who died decades prior, and that he also mixed up German leaders’ names and mistakenly referred to the president of Egypt as the president of Mexico.

Biden and his allies have vigorously denied that his mental acuity is suffering.

But Buck’s resolution is a significant addition to the growing pressure for Biden officials to address scrutiny over the president’s mental fitness. 

The Colorado Republican, who is retiring at the end of this term, is one of the few House GOP lawmakers who have publicly expressed wariness over the push to impeach Biden over allegations that he and his family’s businesses profited off of his political weight.

Buck voted along with the rest of the House GOP Conference to formalize the Biden impeachment inquiry in December, but just last week he criticized the probe’s leaders for relying on allegations made by FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, who was recently indicted for lying to the bureau.

BIDEN MET WITH CHAIRMAN OF CHINESE ENERGY FIRM HUNTER DID BUSINESS WITH IN 2017, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIES

"We’ve always been looking for a link between what Hunter Biden received in terms of money and Joe Biden’s activities or Joe Biden receiving money. This clearly is not a credible link at this point," Buck said in a CNN interview.

He told the network in September, "I want to make sure we don’t ruin this institution over a tit-for-tat impeachment. If the evidence is there… I will absolutely vote for impeachment. I don’t see the evidence at this point."

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment allows the vice president and a majority of the White House Cabinet to declare the president unfit to perform his duties, transferring power to the vice president. 

The president is able to take those powers back by writing to Congress that he is able to serve. The Cabinet would then have four days to refute that, after which Congress would vote on whether the president could remain in power.

Buck is one of several Republican lawmakers who have called for the constitutional amendment to be invoked in the wake of Hur's report, including Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, as well as Reps. Mary Miller, R-Ill., and Mike Collins, R-Ga.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House for comment on Buck's resolution.

Burning down the House: February has been an unmitigated disaster for Republicans

Ah… Watch out!

You might get what you’re after.

Cool babies.

Strange. But I’m not a stranger.

I’m an ordinary guy.

Burning down the house. —Talking Heads. "Burning Down the House." 1983

David Byrne’s hypnotic, octave plunge between the lyrics "watch" and "out" is a sonic caveat.

THE SPEAKER’S LOBBY: WANTS AND NEEDS, AND THE LOOMING IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF BIDEN'S BORDER CHIEF

Those are the very first lines of the Talking Heads ‘80s anthem "Burning Down the House." The listener is forewarned. A tumultuous musical adventure lies ahead. The pending libretto is gnarly gibberish. Words which fit together — but don’t make any sense. A near homage to "I Am the Walrus" by the Beatles.

Like Byrne’s lyrics, what’s going on these days in the U.S. House of Representatives, doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Watch out. The House is seemingly out of control right now. Political arsonists are striking matches and pouring gasoline all over the place.

Republicans hold the majority. But they’ve been burning down their own House.

"Things have not been functioning well at all and that needs to change," beseeched Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn.

Chaos grips the House.

That’s saying something, considering this is an institution which practically mastered dysfunction.

"We can’t get anything done," lamented Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.

Lawmakers are exasperated.

"My Republican friends are barely hanging onto this majority by their fingernails," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee.

My house…

Is out of the ordinary.

That’s right.

Don’t want to hurt nobody.

SENATE VOTED IN FAVOR OF $95 BILLION INTERNATIONAL SPENDING BILL, THERE MAY BE ANOTHER AROUND THE CORNER

House Republicans have blocked their own bills — drawn up with the blessing of GOP leaders — from hitting the House floor a staggering six times in the past eight months. The House usually requires the lawmakers approve a "rule" to allocate debate time and dictate whether amendments are in order. Only then can legislation come to the floor. 

The majority usually votes yes, greenlighting the debate. The minority customarily opposes the rule. But Republicans have torched their own rule six times. That’s a startling figure. Previous majorities only defeated two rules in the previous 23 years.

Republicans have struggled for 13 months now with their narrow majority. It started with the 15-round Speaker’s race in January of last year — an exercise not witnessed since 1858.

"We only had a two-vote margin at the end (of our majority)," said former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

But Pelosi could empathize with the contemporary struggles of House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.

"I don’t think people understand how hard it is," said Pelosi "Respect members on both sides of the aisle. Build consensus. Prioritize your issues. Don’t put people out on a limb on things that aren’t important."

T. S. Eliot wrote that "April is the cruelest month" in his seminal poem, "The Waste Land."

Back on Capitol Hill, Johnson, might argue with Elliot about the brutality of April.

February has been an unmitigated disaster for House Republicans. More things have gone wrong for the GOP than points scored in the NBA All-Star Game.

To wit:

Republicans torched two of their own "rules." They failed during their first attempt to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — before impeaching him by just a solitary vote after the GOP took a mulligan. Johnson even put a bill on the floor to aid Israel — which promptly failed. That was an unforced error. Conventional wisdom is that Johnson shouldn’t have pressed on the Israel bill — especially since the defeat came moments after the failed impeachment vote. And Republicans even saw their meager majority dwindle even further. 

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y. won a special election in New York to succeed expelled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y. The GOP majority will shrink from 219 Republicans to 213 Democrats when the House swears-in Suozzi on Wednesday. That means Johnson can only lose two votes on any given roll call and still pass a measure — sans Democratic assistance.

On the morning after Suozzi’s victory, Ryan Schmelz of Fox News Radio asked Johnson how he’d "handle a narrow majority."

"Just as we do every day. We just do a lot of member discussion," replied Johnson.

It’s about the math. But how they’ve done things "every day" hasn’t provided a victory.

This is why some Republicans are taking aim at Johnson. They’ve regretted the House ditching former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. That’s why McCarthy allies are particularly infuriated at how bad things have been in the House of late.

"Whatever the cards were for McCarthy are the same cards that are being dealt to Speaker Johnson," said Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla. "All it did was take a crowbar to it and make it worse."

Some Republicans criticized the leadership for indecision and making late play calls.

"They’ve got to start thinking strategically over the long-term. Not just what’s in front of us," said Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.

Some lawmakers are certainly making long-term strategic decisions. They’re getting out.

So far, five committee chairs have announced their retirements: Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger, R-Tex., Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., special China committee Chairman Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn.

Green said he wouldn’t seek re-election shortly after the House impeached Mayorkas. Green will serve as the lead impeachment manager (or prosecutor) as the House presents its case to the Senate. Green saw that as an opportunity to go out on top.

"My point being, you go out for the win, right? And I’ve accomplished what I wanted to do," said Green.

A recent poll by Monmouth University found that only 17 percent of people surveyed approve of the job Congress is doing. But not everyone believes political paralysis is bad.

"Let me just tell you something about the people I represent," said Rep. Chip Roy, R-Tex. "They don't want this body to keep passing more laws and spending more money for the sake of it."

This is the "burning down the House" problem which bedevils lawmakers. Especially as two government funding deadlines loom.

We talked about February and April earlier. So expect March to enter like a lion.

As David Byrne sang, some conservatives are "fighting fire with fire." And they’re not getting what they’re after, either.

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So not only burning down the House. But perhaps shutting down the government, too.

Tim Scott rips ‘two-tiered standard’ between treatment of Trump, Biden on border executive action: video

FIRST ON FOX — Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott slammed what he called a "two-tiered standard" concerning President Biden mulling executive action to handle the border crisis, and how former President Trump was treated during his presidency when he attempted to do the same thing.

"Well, there's no question that there's a two-tiered standard in our national media. The way they cover President Trump versus the way that they use kid gloves to cover Joe Biden. There's no question about that," Scott said during a Thursday interview with Fox News Digital when asked about reports that Biden is weighing executive action to crack down on asylum-seeking.

"More important, however, is that when we had President Trump in office, we actually had a basically sealed southern border. Crossings were around a thousand a day. Under President Biden in December, we had 10,000 crossings on average per day," he added. "That contrast should be what the media is covering."

TRUMP VP AUDITIONS: SCOTT RAMASWAMY HIT TRAIL IN SOUTH CAROLINA ON BEHALF OF FORMER PRESIDENT

An administration source told Fox earlier this week that Biden is considering executive action to restrict the ability of migrants to claim asylum amid historic numbers of border crossings facing the country, but that it’s one of "several" plans being looked at.

An administration official also stressed that there have been no final decisions on what actions, if any, could be taken and that exploring policy options does not mean they will come to pass.

One of the options reportedly on the table is use of 212(f) of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows the president to restrict certain categories of foreigners who are deemed "detrimental to the interests of the United States." Trump attempted to use it but was blocked by a federal court, a ruling later upheld by the Supreme Court.

HISPANIC HOUSE DEMS ACCUSE BIDEN OF LEAVING THEM IN DARK ON POSSIBLE EXECUTIVE ACTION AT BORDER

The former president also faced sharp criticism from Democrats and members of the liberal media for attempting to use executive action on immigration, including being called "xenophobic" and "racist."

Biden has yet to face the same widespread level of criticism, although some of the more progressive Democrats have lashed out at the idea of Biden reverting to the previous administration's approach.

"Democrats CANNOT solve immigration problems by adopting Trump-like policies," Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., wrote in a post on X, while Rep. Jesús García, D-Ill., claimed, "President Biden would be making a grave mistake if he moves forward with this policy."

DEMOCRAT IN CRUCIAL SENATE RACE UNDER FIRE FOR PAST AMNESTY, SANCTUARY CITY ‘SUPPORT’ AS BORDER CRISIS SPIRALS

The possible executive action by Biden comes just under two weeks after the House of Representatives narrowly voted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the border crisis.

During a gaggle with reporters after casting his vote in the South Carolina primary earlier in the day, Scott told Fox that he "certainly" supported Mayorkas' impeachment, and he praised the House for having the "courage" to take such action. However, he admitted the task likely wouldn't go anywhere in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

"The best way to eliminate Mayorkas being the secretary is to actually fire Joe Biden," he said. "If we really want to change the trajectory of the country as it relates to immigration — illegal immigration — we have to do so by having someone, a commander-in-chief, who respects our borders, who wants to close our borders."

Fox News' Adam Shaw and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Fox News Politics: A very special prosecutor indeed

Welcome to Fox News’ Politics newsletter with the latest political news from Washington D.C. and updates from the 2024 campaign trail. 

What's Happening? 

- Trump pushes for dismissal of classified docs case

- Biden allegedly considered taking board seat on CCP linked company

- Schumer goes to Ukraine amid funding battle

Nathan Wade appears to have made far more visits to the neighborhood of Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis than previously admitted in court. 

A Friday filing from the attorney of former President Trump claims to show at least 35 visits by Wade to Willis' neighborhood before he was hired as a key special prosecutor on the Trump case.

Wade testified last week that he did not visit Willis' condo more than 10 times before being hired in November 2021. Willis and Wade maintain that their relationship began in early 2022. But his phone appeared to be near Willis' address at late hours on some nights before he was hired, according to cell phone data.

FROM BEHIND BARS: Joe Biden allegedly considered joining board of CCP-linked company, witness testifies from prison ...Read more

'STAGED Q&A SESSIONS': Biden's reliance on notecards to answer questions at fundraisers worries some donors …Read more

FEEBLE FAILURE: Biden admits 'broken' immigration system in meeting with governors as migrants mass-released in California …Read more

RELIEF AT THE PUMP: Biden admin scraps eco friendly fuel rules as gas prices remain high ...Read more

'PLAYBOOK OF CRUELTY': Democrats go after Biden for considering asylum restrictions amidst the border crisis …Read more

'ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY': Biden brags Supreme Court 'didn't stop' him from canceling student loans …Read more

MEAN JOE: Biden's GOP-Strom Thurmond comparisons anger conservative social media users …Read more

SCHUMER PLEDGES SUPPORT: Schumer visits Ukraine, says he will 'make clear' to House Speaker Johnson 'what is at stake' …Read more

LOSING FAITH: Republicans losing faith in Johnson to score conservative wins in government shutdown fight …Read more

OFF TO JAIL: House investigators heading to prison to interview ex-Hunter Biden biz associate amid impeachment inquiry …Read more

GIRL POWER: Haley says US will have 'female president' — either herself or Kamala Harris …Read more

'IT'S CRAZY': Trump says it's 'crazy' how Christians, people of faith can vote for Democrats …Read more

'PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY': Trump’s lawyers push for dismissal of classified documents case …Read more

ON DECK: Kristi Noem offers 5 requirements to serve as Trump's VP …Read more

GOOGLE BIAS: Google executive's posts about 'White privilege,' 'systemic racism' resurface after team's botched AI launch …Read more

WOKE LESSONS: New York school gives children 'Black Lives Matter' coloring book that promotes trans affirmation …Read more

BAD OPTICS?: Migrants mass-released in San Diego as Newsom heads to White House …Read more

'FRENEMIES': Calif judge torches Biden admin for 'colluding' with left-wing immigration group on asylum rule …Read more

CRACKING DOWN: Florida legislature passes bill to ban left lane driving …Read more

'CAN'T BELIEVE IT': San Francisco hardware store requires customers to shop with an employee escort to stop 'rampant shoplifting' …Read more

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