McCarthy faces a new challenge when the House votes on a rules package following a turbulent week.
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is about to face an immediate challenge on Monday as the House votes on a new rules package, following five days of pandemonium and 15 rounds of floor votes.
Several establishment Republicans made it known on Sunday that they might not approve the rules until more information about the concessions made to ultraconservative lawmakers during a week of tense negotiations is made public.
Late on Friday, McCarthy became speaker after gaining the support of hard-right freedom caucus dissenters who had used their influence to help Republicans maintain a slender majority in the House.
However, the specifics of those discussions have not been made public, which has led to rumors that McCarthy has given the group guaranteed seats on important committees and increased their influence.
Congresswoman Nancy Mace, a more moderate Republican from South Carolina, told CBS News on Sunday that while she supported the overall package, she had not yet decided whether to vote in favor of it on Monday.
My main concern today is: Did they succeed in any of the backroom deals they attempted to make? Regarding the lawmakers that refused to vote, Mace stated.
We don’t know what they have since we haven’t seen it, she continued. We have no idea what… There were gentlemanly handshakes. And because that’s not what we ran on, it does give me a little heartburn.
The actual package was released on Friday night and includes a provision that would significantly diminish McCarthy’s authority as a speaker and a key demand of the holdout conservatives. It would also empower a single member to force a “motion to resign” the speakership. It also reinstates a clause allowing lawmakers to offer amendments to appropriations bills, extends the time members have to read legislation before casting a vote to 72 hours, and commits to voting on term restriction legislation for members of Congress.
However, according to unnamed briefings, the holdout Republicans also tried to negotiate increased leverage over significant committees, such as approvals for almost a third of the posts on the influential rules committee, which determines what proposed legislation makes it to the House floor.
Republican congressman Tony Gonzales of Texas told CBS on Sunday that he would vote against the rules because he disagreed with the idea of cutting defense expenditure, which he called “horrendous.”
Gonzales clarified that he was not encouraging other party members to vote against the rules, but he did warn that the turmoil that erupted last week was “just the beginning”.
Gonzales stated that “Republicans are very different from Democrats.” “We’re not just going to jump off the cliff in a line. We’ll strive to ensure that every one of us is recognized as representing our districts.
Texas congressman Chip Roy, one of the key players in negotiations between the ultra-conservatives and McCarthy, stated on Sunday that talks involved including more members of the freedom caucus on important committees without going into greater detail.
“It’s not about petty selfish aspirations,” Roy told CNN. I reject the idea of serving on the Rules committee. I don’t want to travel up here on a Sunday night and miss my kids (Washington DC). However, if my colleagues decide to do it, I might as well too.
The disagreements bring to light the difficulties presented by the paltry Republican majority in the House. However, Jim Jordan, a member of the freedom caucus and the anticipated new chair of the House judiciary committee, predicted the rules package would pass on Monday and justified the mayhem of the previous week in remarks made on Sunday.
Jordan said on Fox News, “Sometimes democracy is messy, but I would argue that’s how the founders intended it. Kevin McCarthy is still the speaker of the House whether it takes one vote or fifteen. They wanted a real debate and meaningful participation from everyone.
Under Jordan’s direction, the House judiciary committee is anticipated to open a highly explosive investigation of the US justice department over alleged accusations of political prejudice, partially in connection with its continuing investigation of the January 6 uprising.
However, a number of Republican politicians have been directly linked to the inquiry, raising concerns about potential conflicts of interest.
Scott Perry, the chair of the House freedom caucus and one of those under investigation, claimed on Sunday that he could continue to serve on a committee that oversees federal investigators.
Should members of Congress be prohibited from using their oversight and investigation responsibilities if they disagree with someone? “I am accused of all kinds of things every single day, as does every member who serves in the public eye,” Perry told ABC News.