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 June 8, 2023

House Freedom Caucus Republicans retaliate against Speaker McCarthy in rules vote

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) earned a lot of praise from the party for striking a debt limit deal with President Joe Biden last week. 

However, that deal still doesn't sit well with some Republican House members, including members of the Freedom Caucus. According to the Washington Examiner, this week, a group of Freedom Caucus members reminded McCarthy of the power they hold.

On Tuesday, members of the House Freedom Caucus banded together to tank a bill that would act to restrict federal regulation of gas stoves.

The group of 12 Republicans joined 208 Democrats in blocking debates on two bills dealing with the ridiculous gas stove issue. The act was reported to have been "retaliation" against McCarthy for striking a weak deal with Biden.

The Examiner noted:

Twelve Republicans voted against moving forward with debate on four pieces of legislation, including two bills dealing with the regulation of gas stoves, joining 208 Democrats to block the measures.

Greg Price noted in a tweet that it was the first time since 2002 that a majority House Party lost a rule vote.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), often critical of McCarthy, explained why his group of 12 Republicans voted the way they did, expressing frustration over the Speaker's leadership style.

"Today, we took down the rule because we're frustrated at the way this place is operating," Gaetz told reporters after the vote.

He added: "We took a stand in January to end the era of the imperial speakership. 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."

Texas Republican Chip Roy weighed in with his similar frustrations with the McCarthy/Biden debt limit deal.

"We warned them not to cut that deal without coming down and sit down and talk to us. So this is all about restoring a process that will fundamentally change things back to what was working," Roy said.

McCarthy historically struggled to win the confidence of House Republicans just to hold the gavel, especially Freedom Caucus members.

It doesn't appear that McCarthy is improving in their eyes, which was evident with the retaliatory vote. Only time will tell what happens, but McCarthy needs to find a way to work together or future critical pieces of legislation could become unpassable.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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