Opinion: GOP quickly turns focus away from inflation, economy

Republicans spent a good chunk of the fall election campaign slamming Democrats about economic concerns, highlighting rising food prices, inflation, and stubbornly high gas prices.

“Joe Biden’s record inflation has Thanksgiving costing more than ever before,” U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, said earlier this week.

Those pocketbook issues likely helped the GOP clinch control of the U.S. House for the new Congress beginning in January — but since gaining that majority, Republicans have swiftly dropped that economic focus to emphasize a series of investigations, which have nothing to do with the cost of your holiday travel or meals.

“We will investigate and bring accountability,” vowed U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome.

Here are just a few of the investigations U.S. House Republicans have announced in recent days:

  • The business dealings of Hunter Biden
  • The treatment of Jan. 6 defendants in jail
  • The actions of FBI, Justice Department
  • A probe of the Education Department over threats to school boards
  • The possible impeachment of the Secretary of Homeland Security
  • A review of how social media companies treat conservatives
  • An investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak

The biggest target for Republicans is clearly the son of Joe Biden.

“Does Hunter know we took the House?” tweeted Republican Mike Collins, who won a seat in Congress from Georgia’s 10th Congressional District.

Another favorite GOP whipping boy for the next Congress is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

In most of official Washington, Fauci is revered for his over five decades years of service.

Among Republicans in Congress, Fauci is a four-letter word when it comes to the Coronavirus outbreak and response.

“We will conduct proper oversight into his lies, destruction, and medical tyranny,” declared U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Athens. “Accountability is coming.”

It’s not quite clear what Republicans will gain from hearings where they publicly berate Fauci — who told reporters this week he is happy to appear before a GOP Congress.

“We can defend and explain and stand by everything that we’ve said,” Fauci said at the White House. “I have nothing to hide.”

Democrats quickly noted how a slew of GOP investigations and showdown hearings have left the Republican economic message in the dust.

“House Republicans have had a lot to say on crime, inflation and gas prices,” said U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. “Now all they want to talk about is Hunter Biden.”

Georgia Republicans in Congress certainly have an economic message that resonates with the voters.

Instead, the GOP focus right now is Hunter Biden, Anthony Fauci, impeachment, and calls to defund the FBI.

We’ll see if that’s a recipe for success in the 118th Congress.

Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com