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Economics

The Washington Monthly Newsletter: February 8, 2024

CNN anchor Erin Burnett opened her show last night by stating that the Republican Party is currently facing more internal divisions than the Democratic Party. This statement was not delivered with a tone of surprise, which is surprising in itself. A quick Google search reveals that the phrase “Republicans in disarray” has been used more frequently in the media, particularly during events such as Kevin McCarthy’s struggle to win the Speaker’s gavel in January 2023 and his subsequent loss in October 2023. The phrase is now being used as the party faces conflicts over issues such as the bipartisan border security bill, the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and aid to Israel and Ukraine. While I have more to say about the GOP’s divisions, I want to first highlight two recent articles from the Washington Monthly. The first, written by Contributing Writer Chris Matthews, focuses on the women who are standing in the way of Trump’s return to the White House. The second, written by myself, explains how the Republican Party’s fear of immigrants has become its sole unifying principle, leading to a breakdown in its ability to govern. As I mentioned in my article, the reason we are seeing so much division within the Republican Party is because of the impurities injected into the conservative bloodstream by Donald Trump. The party is no longer united on issues such as international hawkishness or domestic economic libertarianism. Instead, their main unifying factor is their fear of immigrants. However, since addressing the broken immigration system would alleviate these fears and remove their only unifying principle, there is no incentive for the party to take action on this issue. While immigration also causes divisions within the Democratic Party, we did not see the same level of division on the Senate floor during the failed cloture vote for the border-Ukraine-Israel-Taiwan aid package. Only five Democratic senators broke ranks, while four Republicans voted in favor of cloture. This is likely due to pressure from Trump, as several Republicans who previously indicated support for the bill changed their stance. Today, we are seeing more division within the GOP as 17 Republican senators joined with most Democrats to advance a foreign aid bill without the border provisions. However, 31 Republicans attempted to filibuster the bill, indicating that there is still a tough road ahead as Senate Republicans plan to push for controversial amendments and better SEO. 

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