The Hornet's Nest Republican Men's Club's sold out Spring 2023 event feautured an enthusiastic and capacity crowd at the Levine Senior Center in Matthews. The event, titled "A Southern St. Patrick's Day Celebration", featured a dinner of barbeque selections, cabbage, potato salad and all the fixings. Yet, the crowd didn't gather for the great food, they came to see an almost unprecendented presentation. Attendees were honored with the presence of three of the twenty House GOP members who held out during January's vote for Speaker to ensure the 118th Congress would see a return to transparency and true institutional change. By the end of the evening, there wasn't one attendee that had not been energized by the experience.
The evening's program began with HNRMC's Vice-President Ken May making introductions and recognizing the many current and former federal state and local officials who were in attendance for the evening. The HNRMC was certainly honored to have former Congressman Mark Walker in attendance. Also, it was the club's honor to have our own NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley in attendance. Chairman Whatley was the first speaker to take the podium. He was recently appointed as General Counsel for the Republican Party and will play a key role, nationally, in the 2024 election to ensure we have election integrity. He praised and thanked the tens of thousands of volunteers in North Carolina who acted as lawyers, election judges, poll watchers and those who knocked on doors, made phone calls and did the work at the local level to get out the vote and help our candidates achieve the unprecendented victories we saw in 2022 from the school board, county, judicial, state and federal levels. It's Chairman Whatley's leadership that has made North Carolina a blueprint for other states to follow to ensure GOP victories and election integrity.
HNRMC's President Dan Barry then introduced our neighbor to the south, Congressman Ralph Norman, as he came to the podium to briefly speak. Congressman Norman was one of the heroic "Original 5" who were opposed to Speaker MCCarthy's election unless the Speaker agreed to tangible instiutional change.
Congressman Norman praised the efforts of his colleagues in the audience, Congressmen Dan Bishop and Chip Roy, as well those who joined the three of them in January. He reminded the crowd that as much as the media made out the events surrounding the Speaker's vote to be chaotic, it was actually the way democracies are supposed to work. He also spoke about the upcoming tax legislation that has been proposed by the Biden administration. Biden's tax bill will tax more citizens and he noted that most of the legislation being proposed by the White House will result in more money out of our wallets.
Our own Dan Bishop was next to the podium with a standing ovation from the crowd. Congressmen Bishop, Roy and Norman have all been to the southern border multiple times since the beginning of the 118th Congress. Their most recent visit was to the Eagle Pass/Laredo sector which has been the center of much of the narco-trafficking. Congressman Bishop told the crowd that, for the first time, a Biden administration official had to admit during a Congressional hearing that the policies of this administration are actually the cause of the upsurge of illegal immigration, human trafficking and narcotics trafficking at the southern border.
He also detailed what was accomplished during the negotiations that ultimately led "the 20" to change their vote and ultimately elect Speaker McCarthy. Some of the common sense ideas that are now part of the House rules: 72 hour rule - where lawmakers now have time to read the actual bill before they are forced to vote on its passage; No more omnibus bills - bills presented to the floor for a vote have to be single subject and any amendments to the bill have to be germane to the subject of the bill; Rules Committee - more Freedom Caucus members are on the committee, just to name a few.
Finally, our keynote speaker Congressman Chip Roy addressed the crowd. Prior to his remarks, the crowd was entertained by a video showing all the political pundits and talking heads on cable news chastising the "holdouts" and then praising them a mere three days later. Congressman Roy is universally seen as the chief negotiator of the House rules changes that those herioc 20 fought for. With a great deal of humility, he discussed his role in the negotiations with multiple interruptions by the crowd with applause and standing ovations. He joked that he didn't understand why so many people were so confused about what they were doing. They all had campaigned on these "institutional change" issues and promised their constituents that when they went to Congress they would do exactly that.
The conversation turned to the border and the terrible tragedies occurring there in terms of migrant deaths due to the smuggling operations, as well as fentanyl deaths from the drugs pouring over our border. Mr. Roy ended his remarks by thanking the crowd and reminding everyone to get involved.
HNRMC provides its membership with the opportunity to connect with lawmakers to get the unfiltered facts about our government. For those fortunate enough to be in attendance, they truly witnessed history with three of the "Freedom 20" giving the unfiltered truth of what happened in those early days in January.