By Orion Donovan Smith | The Spokesman-Review

WASHINGTON – After half a year in control of the House of Representatives, Republicans are divided over how they should wield the powers that come with the majority.

For the first two years of President Joe Biden’s tenure, Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, leaving the locus of GOP power in the upper chamber, where Republican senators could filibuster most legislation pushed by the White House. Now, the House majority gives them the authority to cut federal spending, investigate the Biden administration, impeach the president – and perhaps even expunge the impeachments of former President Donald Trump.


But that power has its limitations, as Jordan – who defied subpoenas himself during the previous Congress – knows well. Rep. Russ Fulcher, who represents North Idaho, said the House’s oversight authority is “woefully inadequate” because the majority has limited leverage to force the target of a subpoena to testify or hand over documents.

“Congress doesn’t have the teeth to actually perform all the oversight duties,” said Fulcher, a member of the right-wing Freedom Caucus co-founded by Jordan. “What I mean by that is we can subpoena, we can hold in contempt, but we can’t enforce – unless it’s through appropriations.”

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