California Republican pushes back on far-right calls to ‘burn it down’

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) on Sunday criticized the tactics of far-right lawmakers who say their Republican colleagues, rather than working within the confines of Congress, should be willing to “burn it down” to fight for conservative principles.

“The tactics that they’re using aren’t advancing those principles. They’re an impediment to those principles,” McClintock said on NewsNation’s “The Hill Sunday,” when asked about those who would “burn it down” instead of working within the system.

“We saw that with the ousting of [former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)]. He had produced, with a very slender majority, some absolutely remarkable accomplishments, including the Fiscal Responsibility Act that bent federal spending back by $2.6 trillion over a 10-year period of time — not nearly enough, but a tremendous accomplishment,” McClintock said, also pointing to some GOP messaging bills that failed in the Senate.

“All of those things with a majority of just five members,” McClintock said. “He was able to accomplish all that and was then destroyed, not by the Republicans, but by all of the Democrats joined by eight Republican malcontents.”

Before a small handful of Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against keeping McCarthy as House Speaker, McClintock wrote a letter to his colleagues urging them to “have the wisdom to see the damage you have done to our country and the courage to set things right before it’s too late.”

McClintock was also one of three Republicans to vote against impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who was blamed for the handling of rising migration at the southern border.

The two other Republicans, Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.) and Mike Gallagher (Wis.), have since retired from Congress. Asked why he’s still around, McClintock quoted Winston Churchill.

“Well, Churchill put it best. He said, ‘I fight for my corner, and I leave when the pub closes,’” McClintock said.

“I think our country is at a pivotal moment in its history. And I think it’s going to prevail through the difficulties we’re in, but it’s going to require all of us doing whatever we can to bring our country through,” he continued. “So I’m just very privileged to have a seat in the House of Representatives on behalf of all my neighbors in California.

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