Another Sign of House GOP Dysfunction


So, perhaps you have noticed that the House Republican caucus has been engaged in a multi-week demonstration of their inability to govern. Given their utter inability to agree on a leader, it just strikes me as the most desperate of moves to try and pull this from the House Oversight Committee: Comer Releases Evidence of Direct Payment to Joe Biden.

Oh my!

First, read the headline again, as it is actually pretty underwhelming insofar as I expected that every single person reading this has likewise received a “direct payment” or two in their lives.

Second, here’s the evidence:

So, a nice chunk of change, no doubt. But, as far as proof of anything other than a plausible loan repayment from one brother to another, well, that’s another story.

From the press release:

In 2018, James Biden received $600,000 in loans from, Americore—a financially distressed and failing rural hospital operator. According to bankruptcy court documents, James Biden received these loans “based upon representations that his last name, ‘Biden,’ could ‘open doors’ and that he could obtain a large investment from the Middle East based on his political connections.”

On March 1, 2018, Americore wired a $200,000 loan into James and Sara Biden’s personal bank account – not their business bank account. On the same day, James Biden wrote a $200,000 check from this same personal bank account to Joe Biden.

Comer released a video statement, which included the following.

Even if this was a personal loan repayment, it’s still troubling that Joe Biden’s ability to be paid back by his brother depended on the success of his family’s shady financial dealings.

Now, I have zero idea as to what was going on here, but this is thin gruel in terms of justifying all the sturm und drang that the House GOP has been spewing. It certainly isn’t impeachment-inquiry worthy.

Of course, without a Speaker, all Comer can do is issue press releases.

FILED UNDER: Congress, US Politics, , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Jax says:

    I saw this yesterday and rolled my eyes so far back in my head I gave myself a headache. Or is it an eye ache? 😛

    Typical “look over here, not over there!” from Republicans throwing feces against the wall.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Of course, without a Speaker, all Comer can do is issue press releases.

    As far as I know, that’s all he’s ever done. Wait a minute, he mowed lawns when he was in HS.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    In March, 2018 Joe Biden was a private citizen.

  4. Kathy says:

    The only thing “wrong” is using checks that late into the XXIst century.

    But that’s only a peculiar eccentricity.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: There aren’t as many alternatives to checks when the amount is that large

  6. DrDaveT says:

    Tell them to get back to us when TFG releases his tax returns.

    I’m sure we would all be happy to have all of Biden’s and TFG’s financial affairs subjected to this level of public scrutiny. It would be so educational for our youth.

  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    Imagine a container ship. Each stacked container full to bursting. That’s how much evidence there is of Trump’s corruption.

    Then, every few weeks, a Republican comes rushing up, all breathless, holding a single post-it note on which is scrawled something irrelevant, and in crayon. .

  8. Jay L Gischer says:

    You know, I’m sure Comer knows we won’t believe it. It isn’t for us. The question is, how many Fox News watchers will believe it. How many will think, “OH, they caught him red-handed!” and “HE won’t be prosecuted because of the Deep State protecting him.”

  9. Gustopher says:

    Buried in a CBS article, 6 paragraphs down:

    James Biden’s attorney took issue with the way the GOP-led panel has described the check.

    “The Oversight Committee’s description of the $200,000 check is highly selective and misleading,” said Paul Fishman, attorney for James Biden. “The Committee has the bank documents that show both the loan Jim received from his brother in January 2018 and the repayment by check six weeks later. At no time did Jim involve his brother in any of his business relationships.”

    So, Joe loans his brother $200k in Jan 2018, and his brother repays him when he gets money 6 weeks later. Seems like something that should change the opening of the article to be more about the House releasing trash, but “liberal” media and all that.

  10. DeD says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    “The question is, how many Fox News watchers will believe it.”

    Is it really a question, though, Jay? Is it?

  11. de stijl says:

    Who the hell writes their signature like that?

    That’s just a squiggly, a line and repeat.

    White privilege! Try running that shit past any volunteer vote checker in Georgia!

    Can you even call that a signature?

  12. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I do a fair amount of the time these days. So did my ex wife. I don’t know what her excuse is, but mine is that the tremor I’ve had all my life became so severe a few years ago that I can’t hold the pen point to the paper consistently enough to form letters anymore. My signature is mostly a series of disjointed up and down pen strokes most days.

    ETA: Donald fw^^^g Trump has a more legible signature than I do.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: FTR, I was being sarcastic. I was assuming that his congressional record was quite thin. I have no idea what he did in HS.

  14. Joe says:

    I kinda’ like the sound of strum und drang, but I think it’s sturm.

  15. JohnSF says:

    Ye gods.
    There must be thousands of American families where on relative has loaned money to another on easy terms and been repaid.
    I “borrowed” about £50k from my brothers re. a house purchase, which was then repaid when our late parents estate and property sales was finished up.
    Good job I’m not President of the United States, I suppose.

    Well, for you anyway. 🙂
    My rule would be harsh, yet unfair.
    Despotism moderated only by whimsicality and laziness.
    Call me Nero, and pass me my lyre.
    strum und drang

  16. @Joe: Correct. Typo on my part.