House Speaker Kevin McCarhty may have brokered a deal with the White House over the debt ceiling, but not all members of his own party are happy about it.
Now, some Republicans in the House are fighting back, holding up votes in protest of how McCarthy handled the negotiations.
Starting on Tuesday, members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus began to revolt against McCarthy, using procedural moves at their disposal to hold up a vote on a bill that would prevent the U.S. from banning the usage of gas stoves.
Initially, the Speaker said he believed votes would start up again on Wednesday, but he was forced to cancel even more votes – this time for the rest of the week – as members of the caucus still fought back. Now, members of the House won’t even return to the chambers until next Monday.
Republicans only have a slight majority in the House, with five more members of the GOP. That means it doesn’t take much for even a small contingent of Republicans to hold up things from moving forward. And that’s exactly what’s happening now.
McCarthy admitted as much this week when he spoke to reporters, saying that “there’s a little chaos going on” in the House. He told reporters that he would use the short recess in the House to meet with members of his conference that aren’t satisfied with his performance to see if they could work out any differences they have.
On Wednesday, he said:
“Some of these members, they don’t know what to ask for. There’s numerous different things they’re frustrated about, so we’ll listen to them. I think we’ll get … through it.
“We can’t hold up the work for the American people. I can’t believe someone would want to hold up not allowing people to pick their own oven or stove they’d like to have.”
All 208 Democrats voted down the rule that would’ve taken up a bill in the House to stop the federal government from putting a ban on gas stoves in place. Several Freedom Caucus members joined those Democrats, which put the bill on hold.
The Speaker said that these ill feelings from the Freedom Caucus started during debate about the debt ceiling vote, when House Majority Leader Steve Scalise had a heated argument with Representative Andrew Clyde.
In response, the Freedom Caucus members apparently came together to cause headaches for McCarthy and the Republican establishment in the House. It was these same members who were a thorn in McCarthy’s side in January when he was trying to be confirmed as Speaker.
As this has all unfolded this week, people have talked about whether someone in the Freedom Caucus may introduce a vote to remove McCarthy as Speaker. It only takes one person to bring up such a vote, which is a rule the Freedom Caucus won in negotiations in January that led McCarthy to gaining the gavel.
When asked if he was worried about that happening, McCarthy said on Wednesday: