Political Turmoil and Bipartisan Collaboration in Congress


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Political Turmoil in Congress

When Congress convened in 2023, an empowered far-right Republican faction in the House threatened to upend Washington and President Biden’s agenda. The intransigence of that bloc instead forced Republicans and Democrats into an ad hoc coalition government that is now on the verge of delivering long-delayed foreign military aid and a victory to the Democratic president.

Bipartisan Coalition Emerges

The House approval on Saturday of money for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan over angry objections from the extreme right was the latest example of a bipartisan approach forged out of necessity. The coalition first sprang up last year to spare the government a catastrophic debt default and has reassembled at key moments since then to keep federal agencies funded.

Challenges and Grudging Collaboration

Unable to deliver legislation on their own due to a razor-thin majority and the refusal of those on the right to compromise, House Republicans had no choice but to break with their fringe members and join with Democrats to achieve their goals, including bolstering Ukraine in its war against Russia.

Key Quote: “Look at what MAGA extremism has got you: nothing. Not a damn thing. In fact, it has empowered Democrats. At every critical juncture in this Congress, it has been Democrats who have been the ones to stand up for our country and do the right thing for the American people.” – Representative James P. McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts

The moments of bipartisan coming-together are hardly a template for a new paradigm of governing in polarized times. The grudging G.O.P. collaboration with Democrats has only come about on truly existential, must-pass legislation and typically at the last minute after exhausting all other options. This coalition is unlikely to hold on less critical bills and the social policy issues that sharply divide the two parties.

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