Conservative House lawmakers have begun to take revenge against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for giving in to President Joe Biden in negotiations to raise the debt ceiling — essentially giving the Democrats nearly everything they want in the deal and giving members of his own party only superficial victories.
After the Biden-McCarthy debt ceiling deal was announced, and subsequently signed into law by Biden on Saturday, members of the House Freedom Caucus expressed anger at the House Speaker. Some members of the caucus have accused McCarthy of violating the power-sharing agreement he made with conservative lawmakers that allowed him to win the drawn-out battle for speakership.
While some have threatened to remove McCarthy from his leadership position, House conservatives have taken a different and surprising action to punish the speaker — temporarily tanking bills to protect gas stoves, a key issue for the GOP.
Around a dozen conservative lawmakers joined forces to block a resolution that would have established the rules for voting on two pieces of legislation — the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, and the Save Our Stoves Act. The resolution failed 220-206, despite conservatives principally supporting the bills.
“Today, we took down the rule because we’re frustrated at the way this place is operating,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said.
“We took a stand in January to end the era of the imperial speakership,” he continued. “We’re concerned that the fundamental commitments that allowed Kevin McCarthy to assume the speakership have been violated as a consequence of the debt limit deal.”
Gaetz discussed the “rebellion” against McCarthy during an appearance on News Nation:
Meanwhile, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) explained that his fellow conservatives want to “enforce the agreement we reached in January under which Kevin McCarthy assumed speakership.”
“We had an agreement that had been forged by all of us together, and it was utterly jettisoned unilaterally by the speaker. And there’s been nothing so far to address the consequences of that,” he added.
According to Bishop, the House Freedom Caucus has not yet made a decision whether to begin the process of removing McCarthy from the speakership via a motion to vacate.