Pillow talk

It's getting dirty and hot. Not in a good way.

Hill Heat is on a limited publishing schedule during August.


The members of Congress have packed up and left the buildings. They’ll return in September with plenty of time to pass the appropriations bills needed to keep the government running before the October 1 deadline. The Democratic-run Senate has already reported all 12 appropriations bills out of committee on a bipartisan basis, so it should be easy to get that done.1

Oh wait, oops.

The Republican-run House has approved only the military construction and veterans’ affairs approps bill (H.R. 4366), and that on a party-line vote. Seventy-one Republicans voted against the debt-ceiling bill, and don’t consider themselves beholden to the Speaker’s deal with President Joe Biden on spending levels for the 2024 budget. So the 10 appropriations bills that have come out of committee have even deeper cuts than the Democrats’ previous epic cave (excepting military spending, natch) and are larded up with toxic provisions attacking climate action, pride flags, trans health care, abortion coverage, and the like.

These bills are getting so extreme that they don’t even have sufficient support from the Republican caucus to pass. For example, the homeland security, agriculture, and Food & Drug Administration bill (H.R. 4368)—which cuts food stamps and clean energy provisions—also includes a ban on mifepristone that swing-district Republicans oppose. So GOP leaders had to nix the bill’s planned floor vote at the end of July.

The White House has issued veto threats for both House appropriations bills so far.

The hard-right GOP faction are claiming they are fine with shutting down the government if they don’t get their way in September. From Freedom Caucus member Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.):

“We should not fear a government shutdown. Most of what we do up here is bad anyway. Most of what we do up here hurts the American people.”

Speak for yourself, Bob.

The section below includes dirty language, as spoken by our elected representatives in the Capitol. To avoid it, please skip past the next photo.

In another sign of the devolution of the House under GOP rule, freshman Rep. Derrick van Orden (R-Eau Claire, Wisc.), who invaded the U.S. Capitol grounds on January 6th, went on a profane rampage late last Wednesday against 16- and 17-year-old Senate pages who were resting and taking photos of the Capitol rotunda. Screamed van Orden:

“Wake the fuck up, you little shits. What the fuck are you all doing? Get the fuck out of here. You are defiling the space, you pieces of shit. Who the fuck are you?” When one person said they were Senate pages, van Orden continued: “I don’t give a fuck who you are, get out. You jackasses, get out.”

Rebuked by Senate leaders of both parties, van Orden refused to apologize. McCarthy tried to brush off van Orden’s crazed outburst as a “misunderstanding.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) has been in a testosteronic war with McCarthy ever since the speaker removed Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee. When House Republicans censured Trump impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in June, Swalwell castigated McCarthy: “This is pathetic. You’re weak. You’re a weak man.”

During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the capital, witnesses say they saw McCarthy confront Swalwell while the Democrat was making his way to the bathroom.

One politician remembers McCarthy telling his rival, “If you ever say something like that to me again, I’m gonna kick the shit out of you.”

Swalwell was reportedly ready to take McCarthy up on his challenge, as another politician claims they heard him ask, “Are we really gonna do this?”

According to the sources, McCarthy bit back saying, “Call me a pussy again, and I’ll kick your ass.”

Both witnesses claim Swalwell responded with profane precision, telling McCarthy, “You. Are. A. Pussy.”

A brief stare-down ensued before McCarthy finally let Swalwell pass, according to onlookers.

So, not great for decorum, but pretty accurate.

And we won’t even get to what Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-Ga.) called Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) on the House floor that same week.

“What we have seen is the Biden administration has reverted to an all-of-the-above strategy. They are green-lighting one fossil project after another, more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, a new LNG export facility in Alaska, a massive North Sea drilling operation called the Willow Project, the Mountain Valley Gas Pipeline. And they’ve failed to absolutely educate Americans about the immediacy of the challenge and how dramatically we need to operate in order to take it on.”

“I really think that, quite frankly, President Biden and his team do not understand the level of challenge we’re facing.” Merkley told the Washington Post’s Ann Caldwell. “On this most important issue facing humanity, Team Biden is failing.”

Biden is in good company, of course.

The London Economic’s Jack Peat reports: “A firm founded by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s father-in-law signed a billion-dollar deal with BP two months before the prime minister opened hundreds of new licences for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea.”

Meanwhile, it’s the dead of winter in South America, but you wouldn’t know it. “Some parts of Chile, especially in the north, will see temperatures hit nearly 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit), the same mark experienced by Europe in the middle of summer.” Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, shattered records with 30°C (86°F) heat. In Bolivia, Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest lake, is disappearing in the fossil-fueled drought.

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1 There was a nice clean win in the Senate votes: Organized opposition from climate groups killed Sen. Dan Sullivan’s (R-Alaska) defense authorization act amendment, which would have looted Department of Energy clean-energy loan programs to cover the lending costs for the carbon-bomb Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas project.

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