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Kevin McCarthy's 'commitment' to voters punts on divisive choices: The Note

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The TAKE with Rick Klein

Perhaps as telling as what's in the House GOP's "Commitment to America" is who will be on hand to help unveil it.

Alongside House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in Pittsburgh on Friday morning will be a few dozen Republican House members – everyone from far-right firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, to New York moderate Rep. John Katko, who is retiring from Congress after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Such unity comes at the expense of specific policy. The outline developed by McCarthy and his team was crowd-sourced through his members and does not include specific bills he would pledge to pass -- avoiding key details on issues including abortion, immigration and border enforcement and respect for election results.

McCarthy is skirting inside-baseball rules disputes, such as a critical one with the House Freedom Caucus that could make it easier for those members to oust a future Republican speaker -- perhaps even McCarthy himself.

He is also maneuvering around the issue of Trump, both when it comes to the swirl of investigations surrounding the former president and what it would mean for the GOP if he seeks the White House again.

Trump will more than fill that void Friday night in North Carolina, with a rally that will be closely watched for any signs of dog whistles intended for conspiracy theorists and fringe groups.

McCarthy is seeking to answer those who say Republicans aren't offering an agenda by putting plans in writing, even if those plans are so vague that they will be hard to measure accomplishments against. The politics would appear to be easier, and more unifying, with broad principles around the economy, safety and accountability.

But the entire exercise presupposes that the GOP can win in the midterms while persuading voters the party is about more than its most prominent and controversial voices -- something no detailed agenda can truly answer.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks to reporters outside his office in the Capitol, Aug. 12, 2022. © CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images, FILE House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks to reporters outside his office in the Capitol, Aug. 12, 2022.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

The Cherokee Nation is pushing for representation in Congress, calling for the House to include a non-voting delegate from the tribe based on a centuries-old agreement with the U.S.

Citing the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, which forced the tribe to leave their ancestral land but which pledged a delegate to the House with Congress' cooperation, Cherokee leaders say it’s time the federal government honored its promise to allow for tribal representation on Capitol Hill.

“Congress has failed to honor that promise. However, the Treaty of New Echota has no expiration date,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a video statement on Thursday. “The obligation to seat a Cherokee nation delegate is binding today as it was in 1835.”

Hoskin nominated Kim Teehee, a former senior policy adviser for Native American affairs during the Obama administration. If given a seat as a delegate, Teehee wouldn't be able to vote on the passage of legislation but could take part in committee votes and make speeches on the House floor.

The push by the Cherokee comes as other strides have been made for indigenous representation in the House. Rep. Mary Peltola became the first Alaska Native to represent the state when she was sworn-in earlier this month after winning a special election to replace Rep. Don Young. There are currently six indigenous lawmakers and two delegates in the House of Representatives.

Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Leaders of the major tribes in Oklahoma meet with The Oklahoman editorial board in Oklahoma City, Okla., Oct. 17, 2019. © The Oklahoman via USA Today Network, FILE Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Leaders of the major tribes in Oklahoma meet with The Oklahoman editorial board in Oklahoma City, Okla., Oct. 17, 2019.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

Although President Joe Biden’s indirect answers regarding his plans for reelection are not outside the typical timeline for presidential politics to wait and take off only after a midterm cycle, the lack of a firm commitment heightens the stakes for current campaigns, as well as the direction of the nation’s politics.

The raised implications could be a factor in why the top two Democrats in Congress have recently sidestepped weighing in on whether Biden should seek another term.

"He did a great service to our country. He defeated Donald Trump. Let’s not forget that. If you care about the air we breathe, the water we drink, the education of our children, jobs for their families, pensions for their seniors -- any subject you can name,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday, ABC’s Mariam Khan reports.

But: "I’m not going into politics about whether the president should run or not," Pelosi said.

When asked this week if he wanted Biden to run in 2024, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer replied, "If he runs, I'm going to support him."

Most Democrats have followed suit when prodded on Biden's political future, but the likelihood of his second term is clearly something his fellow party members are contemplating. Two lawmakers -- Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who ran for president in 2020, and outgoing New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney -- have already publicly backtracked their positions after expressing doubt about Biden vying for a second term.

Meanwhile, just two members in the House -- Minnesota Reps. Dean Phillips and Angie Craig -- have called for a "new generation of leadership" across the ballot.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 22, 2022. © Jacquelyn Martin/AP House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 22, 2022.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. "Start Here" begins Friday morning with ABC's Katherine Faulders on the ruling that the Department of Justice can continue its investigation of documents marked classified that were taken from Mar-a-Lago. Then ABC's Patrick Reevell breaks down Russian protests as President Vladimir Putin's military mobilization begins. And, ESPN's Baxter Holmes explains the sale of the Phoenix Suns amid allegations of racism and other workplace misconduct against the owner. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEKEND

  • President Biden gives remarks at the headquarters of the National Education Association at 1 p.m. ET.
  • The president and Dr. Jill Biden host Elton John for a concert on the White House South Lawn at 8 p.m. ET.
  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre briefs at 2:30 p.m. ET.
  • ABC’s “This Week”: Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Roundtable: Former New Jersey Governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie, Former DNC Chair and ABC News Contributor Donna Brazile, ABC News Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott, and Associated Press Executive Editor Julie Pace

Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back next week for the latest.

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