It has been two years since President Joe Biden took office. In this new congressional session, which began on Jan. 3 after the results of last November’s midterm elections, the Democratic Party has now gone from being the majority party in the House of Representatives to now holding a minority.
As the Democrats gear up to recapture the House majority from the Republicans, people are concerned that conservative hard-liners’ rallying cry for “America First” will hinder the Biden administration’s foreign policy, which touts a unified front against China and Russia’s despotism.
Although there are only a handful of hard-line Republican representatives, their influence in the House is growing.
In the last midterm election, the Republicans just barely secured a majority in the House, winning 222 of 435 seats, so the hard-liners have a relatively strong voice.
In an historically chaotic election for House speaker, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy won the post after 15 votes. Much of the trouble was due to stubborn resistance from hard-line conservatives, who viewed McCarthy as being too conciliatory to the Democrats to the end.
Before he was elected, McCarthy asserted there would be “no blank check” for military support to Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion, indicating a cautious stance toward expanding U.S. support. Hard-liners are strongly arguing that the U.S. should promptly “stop the money spigot to Ukraine.”* The Biden administration will not be able to avoid damaging the America’s international prestige if its role in spearheading international cooperation in support of Ukraine is demolished by domestic political strife.
On the other hand, regarding steps against China, the House elected a special committee of both majority and minority representatives to establish strategic economic and military strategies regarding competition with China.
Measures regarding China are one of the few policy questions on which the current Congress can reach bipartisan agreement. We hope that the U.S. can take a strong policy stand on China without getting embroiled in partisan politics.
As it did with former President Donald Trump, the Justice Department searched Biden’s home for classified documents. Biden’s son Hunter is also suspected of tax evasion.
If Biden runs for reelection in next year’s presidential race as is rumored, the Republicans are likely to relentlessly pursue these issues in a bid to defeat him.
It is reasonable to clarify suspected wrongdoing, but if the Republican Party consistently engages in factional inward-facing political conflict, it will give China and Russia a weak spot they can exploit.
Faced with a turbulent international situation, the U.S. must gain its composure without getting embroiled in domestic conflict.
*Editor’s note: Although accurately translated, this quoted remark could not be independently verified.
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