House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is attempting to root out dissent in the Republican party ahead of Wednesday’s debt ceiling vote. Some members of the Freedom Caucus have been vocally disgruntled with how much the GOP has done to cut down on the Biden administration’s rampant spending. However, the upper echelon of party leadership is claiming their Fiscal Responsibility Act would be a compromise necessary to avoid a much-feared default on America’s debt and cut down on Biden’s spending. Despite McCarthy’s efforts, members of the Freedom Caucus have made their grievances well known and have even insinuated that a change of leadership might be necessary. However, despite these bold claims, ousting McCarthy from leadership seems unlikely.
By Sean Moran; May 31, 2023
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tamped down Republican opposition ahead of Wednesday’s vote on the debt ceiling bill.
“I’m confident we’ll pass the bill,” the California Republican told reporters on Tuesday.
Ahead of the pivotal decision on the deal struck by McCarthy and President Joe Biden, the House Republican Conference met to discuss members’ issues with the legislation, otherwise known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
Some but not all members of the House Freedom Caucus have vented about how the bill does not do enough to tackle America’s deficit problem.
Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), a member of the Freedom Caucus, urged his fellow Freedom Caucus members to “cut it out.”
Two Freedom Caucus members, Reps. Dan Bishop (R-NC) and Chip Roy (R-TX), have vocally opposed the debt ceiling deal as have others.
Bishop floated using the motion to vacate, a parliamentary procedure to remove the speaker, over the debt ceiling.
Roy said on Tuesday that conservatives would have to “figure out the whole leadership arrangement again” in a veiled threat against McCarthy.
However, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the Judiciary Committee chairman and a Freedom Caucus member, said that ousting McCarthy over the debt ceiling deal was a “terrible idea.”
After the House Republican Conference meeting, some conservatives appeared to back down from their threats.
Bishop did not discuss McCarthy’s future with reporters after the meeting, Roy did not respond to reporters’ questions about removing McCarthy, and Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) suggested that McCarthy was not actually at risk.
McCarthy gained another supporter in Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), a libertarian-leaning conservative and member of the powerful Rules Committee, who said that the debt ceiling would allow for more spending cuts in this fall’s spending battle.
Massie wrote on Tuesday, “I’ve been in Congress for a decade and this is the first real bill that cuts spending. It also includes an automatic 1% cut to spending on January 1 if Congress doesn’t pass the 12 appropriations bills.”
The Kentucky conservative noted that Republicans oftentimes get “nothing” for raising the debt limit.
Photo: Gage Skidmore