WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives came to a standstill Wednesday as members of the House Freedom Caucus vowed to “keep their word” amid frustration with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.).
Compromise on Debt Ceiling Legislation
“Kevin blew up the unity of the conference last week on the debt ceiling deal,” said Rep. Dan Bishop (RN.C.).
In an unusual rebuke to their own leadership, 11 Republicans, including Bishop, voted against a procedural resolution to debate the bills on Tuesday. The standoff continued Wednesday as hardliners sought some concession from McCarthy.
Liberty caucus members are upset that the speaker compromised with President Joe Biden last week on “debt ceiling” legislation to allow the federal government to borrow for previously authorized spending.
Disappointment among conservatives
Republicans had proposed steep spending cuts and tougher work requirements for federal programs, and McCarthy successfully steered the landmark bill through a nearly all-Republican House of Representatives.
But the deal McCarthy struck with Biden contained only modest spending cuts and job demands, disappointing conservatives, and the bill passed with more Democrats than Republicans.
Conservatives hold the floor
On Wednesday, Rep. Matt Goetz (R-R.) tweeted that leadership failed to hold the line, so he and his fellow conservatives will walk the talk, meaning they will stand in the way of legislation, even messaging bills to protect against gas stoves. regulation. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Co.) capitalized on her message.
Members of McCarthy’s leadership team would not say Wednesday morning if the votes would come later that day. It is not clear how long the standoff could last.
Rebuilding unity among Republicans
Bishop said a temporary delay in the token legislation would be “inconsequential in the scheme of things”. He said he hopes McCarthy can restore unity among Republicans with some kind of written agreement.
McCarthy made several concessions to far-right members to win their support for his speaker bid, including a rule change that would allow individual lawmakers to vote of no confidence in the speaker. But disgruntled members of the Freedom Caucus appear not to be threatening to use that option.