A few hours after Gov. Glenn Youngkin said yesterday that he’s “proud” House Republicans elected Mike Johnson as Speaker, Sen. Tim Kaine told everyone what the actual facts are about that far-right extremist, christofascist, etc.
Sen. Tim Kaine: “[Mike Johnson] is the most powerful Republican in America. He is the face of today’s GOP. He’s second in line to the president. And you outlined the positions he had, from election denial to climate science denial to anti-LGBTQ, anti-women’s reproductive rights. This is who the Republican Party is now. And remember he received the vote of every member of the Republican caucus to be Speaker. So that is obviously a very different vision than Virginians have, a very different vision than Senate Democrats or Republicans have. And so it sets up some challenging times ahead. All that said, it’s better to have a Speaker than to not have a Speaker, because we have important work to do for the American public.”
Sen. Tim Kaine: “I do think the the chaos in the House GOP, including the essentially three- week shutdown after they threw McCarthy out and couldn’t decide who to put in, and then the elevation of Mike Johnson, whose views are really counter to what Virginia thinks – and Virginia we’re a battleground state, we’re not a blue state – I do think that’s going to probably have a an influence in the political atmosphere here that will be helpful to Democratic candidates in these elections.”
I think that’s all accurate by Sen. Kaine, although I’m not so sure we’re better off with an extremist as Speaker than no Speaker at all. Of course, Tim Kaine’s always been an optimist. We shall see…
Sen. Tim Kaine: “So we will pass in the coming days the first big budget bill, and it will pass by a big bipartisan margin getting it over to the House. My sense is the November 17th deadline, which was a tight deadline even if the House stayed open, the fact that the House was closed for essentially three weeks means that that deadline is likely to get adjusted backwards to the end of the year, which would be the norm…I think you’ll see it adjust, but we are going to send the first bipartisan budget bill over this this week and then we’ve got to send over a bipartisan package that that includes Ukraine aid and Israel aid – and let’s be clear, Gaza humanitarian aid. I listened to Ambassador Ross; Israelis urged Gazans who were not the same as Hamas to move into south Gaza to be protected, but once they’re there you can’t choke them off. Having 10 trucks come in to a population of millions – the population of Gaza is like the population of the state of New Mexico; you couldn’t you couldn’t supply all New Mexicans on 10 trucks a day. Hundreds of trucks a day were going into Gaza to give people food medicine before October 7th, and the Israelis have to make sure that there’s a safe way to deliver food, medicine, household supplies, water to the Gazans who listened to them and moved south. So we’re going to send a package that will include Ukraine, Israel, Gaza, state disaster relief, border efforts, it’s going to be a sizable package. And I think you will see us get a big bipartisan vote in the Senate.”
Sen. Tim Kaine: “You know, it seems like the the plan – and I have not heard directly from the [Israeli] Prime Minister but certainly from our own folks who are in dialogue – is to try to be as targeted as possible, to reduce or eliminate the threat of Hamas (a terrorist group that’s pledged to destroy Israel), to do it in a way though that ramps up efforts to protect civilians. We need to get convoys of aid into these civilians in south Gaza. I’m not happy with the pace of it thus far. Israel, according to the UN relief agency, has shut off water service into southern Gaza. Again, if you tell people to go there to be safe, you can’t then choke them off or target them. And so we need to do everything we can to make sure that there’s adequate supplies, food, water, etc. to the poor Gazans who are caught in this horrible crossfire initiated by the Hamas terrorist attack.”