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 June 8, 2023

House Republicans protest debt ceiling deal by handing McCarthy a historic loss

A group of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives just blocked several bills from reaching the lower chamber's floor, the New York Post reports

The Republicans did so in protest of the debt ceiling deal that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reached with President Joe Biden. This deal has since been passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by Biden.

Some House Republicans indicated early on that they were not in favor of the deal. They believe that McCarthy did not get as much out of the deal as he should have, a position which they argued is evidenced by the fact that more congressional Democrats voted for the deal than congressional Republicans.

A big question following the passage of the bill was how these unhappy Republicans would respond. Would, for example, they try to remove McCarthy from the speakership position?

The answer to this question appears to be "no." But, this does not mean that McCarthy is completely off of the hook, which is demonstrated by what happened on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, a group of 12 House Republicans voted with House Democrats to defeat a GOP rule. The rule needed to be passed in order to bring four different bills to the House floor to be debated and voted on.

The final vote on the rule was 220 to 206. The 12 House Republicans who blocked the rule are:

U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL); Andy Biggs (R-AZ); Dan Bishop (R-NC); Lauren Boebert (R-CO); Ken Buck (R-CO); Tim Burchett (R-TN); Eli Crane (R-AZ); Bob Good (R-VA); Ralph Norman (R-SC); Matt Rosendale (R-MT); and Chip Roy (R-TX).

The final "no" vote was that of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA). But, he is said to have voted "no" for a procedural reason so that that rule can be brought up for another vote.

According to the Post, this is "the first time a House rule vote has been defeated since November of 2002."

Gaetz, after the vote, explained why it is that he and others voted "no":

Today, we took down the rule because we’re frustrated at the way this place is operating. 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.

McCarthy, for his part, said that he was "blindsided" by what happened.

McCarthy also appeared to try to blame what happened on Scalise.

McCarthy said:

I don't run… I try to.. look. We put different rules out there, and the Majority Leader runs the floor. Yesterday was started on something else. It was a, it was a conversation that the Majority Leader had with [Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga.], and I think it was a miscalculation or misinterpretation of what one said to another. And, that's what started this and then something else bellowed into it.

It remains to be seen how this situation will play out.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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