When the House and Senate are on recess, it’s supposed to be so individual members can go home and visit with their constituents. Some members take this more seriously than others, of course. But being called back from recess is a big deal, so a lot of people stood up and noticed today when House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler announced that he was recalling his committee early.
Plenty of people who aren’t bothering to look at the details of the narrative are assuming that because it’s the House Judiciary Committee, this is about the impeachment process against Donald Trump. Actually, Nadler says it’s so the committee can work its way through multiple pieces of gun safety legislation, thus allowing the full House to hit the ground running the minute it gets back from recess. But there’s got to be more to it.
Even after the Democratic House passes gun control legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t likely to let the Republican Senate even so much as hold a vote on it. That said, Democrats can use this process to expose McConnell as a puppet of the gun lobby, and thus perhaps retake the Senate in the 2020 election – so that at that point they really can pass gun legislation. All that said, this doesn’t feel like it’s just about gun control.
The House Judiciary Committee has an active impeachment inquiry in place against Donald Trump, and because it’s currently playing out as a court battle over testimony and evidence, there are a lot of moving parts. We’d be shocked if the committee isn’t also coming back early from recess in order to facilitate these legal battles. The sooner the Democrats win a number of these court battles, the sooner the inevitable televised impeachment hearings can begin.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report