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118e Congrès : la Chambre des représentants sort de l’antichambre

Après 15 tours et des tractations et pressions filmées au grand jour par la chaine C-SPAN, Kevin McCarthy, élu républicain de la 20e circonscription de Californie a été Speaker succédant ainsi à l’autre représentante californienne mais appartenant au parti démocrate. La Chambre des représentants a donc pris officiellement pris ses fonctions.

Cette élection a montré la division du parti républicain, fracturé par les députés radicaux du Freedom Caucus, pris en otage par quelques ultras, et l’unité du parti démocrate qui, en cette occasion a su fait fi de ses divergences.

La comparaison des discours du chef de la minorité démocrate Hakeem Jeffries et du nouveau speaker Kevin McCarthy illustre le fossé existant entre les deux partis : l’un qui ne s’est toujours pas dégagé de l’emprise d’un Donald Trump pourtant singulièrement affaibli mais toujours fort d’une capacité de nuisance importante, l’autre qui a porté les deux premières années d’un des mandats présidentiels les plus constructifs en matière législative.

On retiendra le discours du successeur de Nancy Pelosi que l’on retiendra comme l’Alphabet Speech :

« But I also want to make clear that we will never compromise our principles. House Democrats will always put

  • American values over autocracy,
  • Benevolence over bigotry,
  • the Constitution over the cult [or possibly code],
  • Democracy over demagogues,
  • Economic opportunity over extremism,
  • Freedom over fascism,
  • Governing over gaslighting,
  • Hopefulness over hatred,
  • Inclusion over isolation,
  • Justice over judicial overreach,
  • Knowledge over kangaroo courts,
  • Liberty over limitation,
  • Maturity over Mar-a-Lago [the crowd erupted, the GOP outraged, the Dems applauding],
  • Normalcy over negativity,
  • Opportunity over obstruction,
  • People over politics,
  • Quality of life issues over QAnon,
  • Reason over racism,
  • Substance over slander,
  • Triumph over tyranny,
  • Understanding over ugliness,
  • Voting rights over voter suppression,
  • Working families over the well-connected,
  • Xenial over xenophobia, 
  • Yes we can!” over “You can’t do it,”
  • and Zealous representation over zero-sum confrontation! »

Le tout déclamé sans notes ni prompteur, une performance oratoire.

De son côté, Kevin McCarthy remercie Donald Trump, inutilement…

Kevin McCarthy fait un selfie avec une Margerie Taylor Greene, symbole d’une prise d’otage des républicains mainstream (s’il en existe encore) par les républicains MAGA et/ou ultra-right :

Discours de Kevin McCarthyDiscours d’Hakeem Jeffries
There is somebody else I want to thank, the gentlewoman who served as our presiding officer this week, our clerk, Cheryl Johnson. Thank you.
My father always told me, it is not how you start, it is how you finish.
And now we need to finish strong for the American people. If the son of a fireman and the grandchild of immigrants can rise to the highest position in the most important legislative body in our country, and if my colleague, HAKEEM JEFFRIES, with his life story, can rise to lead his party, then opportunity and democracy still thrive in America.
To Leader JEFFRIES, there will be times we agree, and many times we will differ. I promise our debates will be passionate, but they will never be personal. That is my commitment to you.
And now, the hard work begins. What we do here today, next week, next month, and next year will set the tone for everything that follows.
Tonight, I want to talk directly to the American people.
As Speaker of the House, my ultimate responsibility is not to my party, my Conference, or even our Congress. My responsibility, our responsibility, is to our country.
Two months ago, you voted for a new direction for our country. You embraced our Commitment to America, and now we are going to keep our commitment to you.
It is a commitment for an economy that is strong, where you can fill up your tank of gas and feed your family, where paychecks grow and not shrink. It is a commitment for a Nation that is safe, where communities are protected, law enforcement is respected, and criminals are prosecuted; a commitment for the future that is built on freedom, where children come first and are taught to dream big because, in America, dreams can still come true; a commitment for a government that is held accountable, where Americans get the answers they want, need, and deserve.
Our system was built on checks and balances. It is time for us to be a check and provide some balance to the President’s policies.
There is nothing more important than making it possible for American families to live and enjoy the lives they deserve. That is why we commit to stop wasteful Washington spending, to lower the price of groceries, gas, cars, housing, and stop the rising national debt.
We pledge to cut the regulatory burden, lower energy costs for families, and create good-paying jobs for workers by unleashing reliable, abundant, American-made energy.
I know the night is late but when we come back, our very first bill will repeal the funding for 87,000 IRS agents.
You see, we believe government should be here to help you, not go after you. We are going to pass bills to fix the Nation’s urgent challenges, from the wide-open southern border to America’s last energy policies to woke indoctrination in our schools.
 
We will also address America’s long-term challenges: the debt and the rise of the Chinese Communist Party. Congress must speak with one voice on both of these issues. That is why we will end wasteful Washington spending. From now on, if a Federal bureaucrat wants to spend it, they will come before this institution to defend it.
As for the Chinese Communist Party, we will create a select committee on China to investigate how to bring back the hundreds of thousands of jobs that went to China, and then we will win this economic competition.
Now, speaking of committees, we will hold the swamp accountable—from the withdrawal of Afghanistan to the origins of COVID to the weaponization of the FBI.
Let me be very clear. We will use the power of the purse and the power of the subpoena to get the job done.
This is something we should all agree upon. We will stand up and speak out for the backbone of our economy: the hardworking taxpayers.
It is nighttime here in Washington, but in some ways, it is also like a new beginning, a fresh start. My friends, this Chamber is now fully open for all Americans to visit.
I want to give all Americans a personal invitation: You are welcome to see this body at work. No longer will the doors be closed, but the debates will be open for you to witness what happens in the people’s House.
From the committee rooms to this floor, we commit to pursue the truth passionately and embrace debate. No more one-sided inquiries. Competing ideas will be put to the test in public so that the best ideas win.
We also pledge to bring Congress to the people, because answers have not and will not always be found in Washington.
That is why one of our very first hearings will be held at the southern border.
No more ignoring this crisis of safety and sovereignty. We must secure our border.
We must get America back on track. Now, on a personal note to my family here and at home: my wife, Judy; my children, Meghan, Connor, and Emily; my brother, Marc; Monica and Zac; and, yes, my mom, Bert, I am where I am because you are who you are.
I would also like to thank my constituents in California’s Central Valley, and yes, especially my hometown of Bakersfield. I don’t know if you are familiar with the music but as Buck Owens sings: ‘‘How many of you that sit and judge me have ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?’’
Well, I have walked those streets my entire life. I know it’s people. They are hardworking and relentlessly optimistic about our future, and I am very honored to have the opportunity to represent them in Congress.
As a son of a firefighter, I saw first hand how hard work, leadership, and service to others can change people’s lives. That is exactly why we are here today: to serve you, the people.
We come here with the support of our families and the faith of our neighbors to be their voices in Washington. For all the wives and husbands, children and parents who are watching a loved one be sworn in—I know it took a couple of extra days. I will be honest, that is not how I had it planned—I want you to remember this moment.
Take it in. Your loved ones are about to become a part of history.
My colleagues and I thank you for your understanding and your sacrifice. We will work every day to make you proud.
My most favorite spot in this building is not in this Chamber. It is in the Chamber they met before, in Statuary Hall. It is my favorite place to take people on a tour. It is where Abraham Lincoln served. He was just a one-term Congressman; sat in the back. I like to go in that spot and stand where he stood. I like to do it at night when people aren’t around. I like to look over and look at the clock because that is the same clock and the same view that Abraham Lincoln saw. I have watched Lincoln serve in the greatest challenge to our Constitution, the Civil War. I watched him take people who were rivals and put them together. I watched at a time when he did not know if the Nation could sustain itself, but he dreamt of a future and built a railroad across the Nation. I want us to all take a moment one time that you are here; I want you to stand there. I want you to look, and I want you to think: If America could do it then, we can do it now. One more time.
Abe Lincoln gave his life in service to this country. One of his most important observations about America applies today as much as it did 160 years ago.
He said: ‘‘We are striving to maintain the government and institutions of our fathers . . . and transmit them to our children and our children’s children forever.’’
My fellow Americans, that is still our mission today. This moment calls for restoring trust within our country and with each other. In that spirit, I will work with anyone and everyone who shares our passion to deliver a better future for the Nation. I hope you will join me. As a Congress, we can only operate if we cooperate.
My door will be open. I would like you to come by. I want you to see, as you walk down the hall, a large portrait of Lincoln. I want you to go into that conference room, and I want you to see another portrait. My Members know this. It is of Washington crossing Delaware. We all know the story. It happened on Christmas in 1776. There was no iPhone to take a picture of. People wonder when it was painted. It wasn’t painted by someone who was there. It was painted in 1850 and 1851. He was an immigrant who lived in America, Emanuel Leutze. Do you know why he painted it?
Because he knew America was more than a country. America was an idea. He went home to Germany, and he wanted Germany to have a revolution based upon the values and freedoms that we defend every day. His talent was art, so he believed if he painted this painting, he could inspire his countrymen to rise up for the idea of freedom. Many historians will tell you he didn’t get it correct. They will tell you Washington crossed on a Durham boat, but he paints it with Washington in a rowboat. You see 13 people but only 12 faces. You see Washington standing up in a rowboat in the middle of winter, wearing a ceremonial uniform with his hand on his chest. He looks so stoic. You would look at that man and you would say, ‘‘I would follow him anywhere.’’ You proudly believe that he never lost a battle. But history would tell us, at that moment, at that time, he had only lost. We had never won. You see, that was the night of our first victory as a nation when we surprised the Hessians. When you look at that painting, don’t look at Washington. I want you to look at who is in the boat. You see the second rower in the beret; he is Scottish. The person directly across from him in the green, rowing in the exact same cadence, is an African American. You come down right to the middle in the red. The person who is rowing the strongest is a woman, and in the very back is a Native American.
I don’t know from a historic fact if they were in the boat that night, but to this young immigrant who had lived in America, that is who he believed would be in the boat.
The second-to-last person is a farmer. He could be from Bakersfield. I am not sure. His hand goes across his face. People will debate this part, but what I see is the hand of the 13th person nobody sees. You see, what I believe Emanuel was saying is: Here we are, battling for the creation of the idea of freedom, that every individual is equal, not a perfect nation but striving to be a more perfect union, having lost every battle against the greatest challenge with the strongest nation, having lost them all but willing to do it on our holiest of nights with a hand reached out and asking if you would join us. That is as true today as it was then. If we let everybody in the boat if we row in the same cadence together, there is no obstacle this body can’t overcome for this Nation.
It is time for us to be the voice and worthy of their vote. Let me close with this:
I may not know all of you—some of you are new— but I hope one thing is clear after this week: I never give up.
I make this promise:
I will never give up. for you, the American people, and I will never give up on keeping our commitment to America. Our Nation is worth fighting for. Our rights are worth fighting for. Our dreams are worth fighting for. Our future is worth fighting for.
Therefore, with love for this country and charity for each other, let us now take our oath and be worthy of the office which we are about to enter.
God bless everybody in this Chamber, and God bless America.
Madam Clerk, Whip Clark, distinguished members of the House Democratic Caucus and the House Republican caucus, it’s my high honor and distinct privilege to finally welcome all of you to the 118th Congress.

Let me just begin by thanking my good friend, Pete Aguilar, for his very generous words of introduction and for placing my name into nomination a total of nine times. And I also want to thank my other colleagues from the Democratic Caucus for your generous words of nomination as well: Jim Clyburn, Katherine Clark, Ted Lieu, Dean Phillips, Joe Neguse, and Veronica Escobar. I also want to thank my colleagues, my friends in the House Democratic Caucus for your perseverance, for your strength, for your friendship, for your unanimity of purpose, and for your unanimous support.
And I simply want to say that that showing of strength is not for any one particular individual: it will be a showing of strength throughout the 118th Congress, unanimity of purpose on behalf of the American people.
 
 
Before I proceed any further, let me begin by acknowledging the distinguished gentlelady from the great state of California, the iconic, the heroic, the legendary speaker emerita Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi. And without question in my mind, Speaker Emerita Pelosi will go down in history as the greatest speaker of all time. Throughout her time in Congress, she’s been a legendary legislator, a fabulous facilitator, and a no-nonsense negotiator. We know that Nancy Pelosi is a woman of faith, a loving wife, a mother of five, a grandmother of nine, a defender of democracy, a voice for the voiceless, and a powerful champion for the children, the climate, charm city, California, the caucus, the Congress, the country, and the Constitution. Thank you, Madam Speaker, for all that you have done; it’s an honor to stand on your broad shoulders, as well as the shoulders of the great Steny Hoyer and the great Jim Clyburn – two consequential leaders in their own right.
 

Now the Scripture says in Galatians, let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Over the last two years, House Democrats in partnership with President Biden and our colleagues in the Senate have been hard at work on behalf of the American people, getting big things done.

We passed the American Rescue Plan, saved the economy from a deep recession, put shots in arm, money in pockets, and kids back in school.
We passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to create millions of good-paying jobs, fix our crumbling bridges, roads, tunnels, our airports, our sewer and water system, mass transportation systems and ensure high speed internet access in every single community.
We passed gun safety legislation – for the first time in thirty years – that will save lives and make our communities safer.

We passed the CHIPS and Science Act to bring domestic manufacturing jobs back home to the United States of America and ensure that our work force has the skills to succeed in the 21st century economy.
And we passed the Inflation Reduction Act to strike a dramatic blow against the climate crisis, set our planet on a sustainable trajectory forward, lower energy costs, strengthen the Affordable Care Act, lower health care costs, and drive down the high price of life-saving prescription drugs for millions of Americans. It was one of the most consequential congresses in American history.
President Biden gets the job done and the “D” in Democrat stands for deliver.
[Interrupted by yelling, Jeffries then proceeded.]

So over the next two years, as we begin this 118th Congress, let us continue to fight for lower costs. Let us continue to fight in this Congress for better paying jobs. Let us continue to fight in this Congress for safer communities. Let us continue to fight in this Congress to defend democracy. Let us continue to fight in this Congress to put and protect the public interests. Let us continue to fight in this Congress for economic opportunity in every single zip code. And let us continue to fight in this Congress for reproductive freedom.
Because as Democrats we do believe in a country for everyone.
[More shouting. Call for order from the gallery. Jeffries proceeded once again after it died down.]
We do believe in a country for everyone – a country that provides for the poor, works for working families, makes sense for the middle class. stands up for senior citizens, innovates in the inner city. strengthens suburban communities, helps out the heartland, and revitalizes rural America.

We believe in a country with liberty and justice for all, equal protection under the law. free and fair elections and, yes, we believe in a country with the peaceful transfer of power.
We believe – that in America our diversity is a strength; it is not a weakness – an economic strength, a competitive strength, a cultural strength. Our diversity is a strength; it is not a weakness. We are a gorgeous mosaic of people from throughout the world. As John Lewis would sometimes remind us on this floor: we may have come over on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.
We are white, we are black, we are Latino, we are Asian, we are Native American, we are Christian, we are Jewish, we are Muslim, we are Hindu, we are religious, we are secular, we are gay, we are straight, we are young, we are older, we are women, we are men, we are citizens, we are dreamers. Out of many we are one: that’s what makes America a great country. And no matter what kind of haters are trying to divide us, we’re not going to let anyone take that away from us, not now, not ever.

This is the United States of America: a land of opportunity. The fact that I’m able to stand up here today is another data point in that narrative. I was born in Brooklyn Hospital, raised in a working-class neighborhood in Crown Heights, grew up in the Cornerstone Baptist Church; started off in the Cradle Roll department [a church organization for kids]; somehow survived the violence of the crack cocaine epidemic and wound up here in the United States Congress as the highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.
America – truly a land of opportunity. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
So on this first day, let us commit to the American Dream: a dream that promises that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be table provide a comfortable living for yourself and for your family, educate your children, purchase a home, and one day retire with grace and dignity. Let us commit on this first day to lift up the American Dream for every single person in this nation.

Now, I recognize that this is a moment of transition. As we transition from one Congress to the next; from one majority to the next; from a year of accomplishment to a year of ambiguity. A moment of transition.
The American people – understandably after the events of this week – recognize that the Congress is at a fork in the road and are asking the question: What direction will we choose?
On this first day, I do not pretend to answer that question on behalf of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, but we do extend our hand of partnership to you, and want to make clear that we extend and intend to try to find common ground, whenever and wherever possible on behalf of the American people. Not as Democrats, not as Republicans, not as Independents, but as Americans.

But I also want to make clear that we will never compromise our principles. House Democrats will always put American values over autocracy, benevolence over bigotry, the Constitution over the cult [or possibly code], democracy over demagogues, economic opportunity over extremism, freedom over fascism, governing over gaslighting, hopefulness over hatred, inclusion over isolation, justice over judicial overreach, knowledge over kangaroo courts, liberty over limitation, maturity over Mar-a-Lago [the crowd erupted, the GOP outraged, the Dems applauding], normalcy over negativity, opportunity over obstruction, people over politics, quality of life issues over QAnon, reason over racism, substance over slander, triumph over tyranny, understanding over ugliness, voting rights over voter suppression, working families over the well-connected, xenial over xenophobia,  “Yes we can!” over “You can’t do it,” and zealous representation over zero-sum confrontation!
We will always do the right thing by the American people. So let us not grow weary of doing good, for the American people will reap the benefit of the harvest if we do not give up.
God bless you. God bless the House. And God bless the United States of America.

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