GOP leaders struggle to vote on House rules package



CNN

The House is expected to vote Monday evening on the rules package for the 118th Congress, marking the first test of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s slim Republican majority. The GOP made major concessions to hardliners To win the prize.

McCarthy’s concessions to hardliners frustrated some centrist House Republicans, and GOP leaders raced Monday to assuage those concerns. Sources told CNN that GOP leaders made several calls and text messages to Rep. Nancy Mays of South Carolina, who said Sunday she was “on the fence” over the House rules package.

On Monday afternoon, Mays’ office said South Carolina Republicans would vote on the rules package — a significant sign that centrist Republicans weren’t about to rebel.

McCarthy’s allies have been making waves to clarify what is and isn’t included in the set of rules, particularly related to defense spending.

The Republican Party leadership is confident they will get the votes for the rules package, but with little margin for error — the vote is seen as McCarthy’s first test of whether he can govern — and leaders are leaving no room for chance.

GOP leaders are hoping to quickly pass the provisions and move on to their legislative agenda, with provisions set for a vote Monday evening on a bill to withdraw $80 billion in funding for the Internal Revenue Service. Included in the De-Inflation ActA massive social spending bill passed by Democrats in the last Congress.

However, the conflict over House rules underscores the difficult task McCarthy faces as a House leader. of the Act.

McCarthy to flip 20 GOP holdouts last week He agreed to many concessions. This includes revoking House rules so that a member can go to a vote to oust the Speaker. The California Republican agreed to expand the mandate of a new select committee investigating the “weaponization” of the federal government to include investigating “ongoing criminal investigations,” setting up a conflict with the Biden administration and law enforcement agencies over their criminal investigations, in particular. On former President Donald Trump.

McCarthy also signed a pledge to keep the Republican-led House even Any increase in credit limit Approve spending cuts and discretionary spending for fiscal year 2022—which, if implemented, would reverse spending increases for defense and non-defense spending in fiscal year 2023. Last month’s $1.7 trillion omnibus package.

Texas Rep. Tony Gonzalez was the first Republican to oppose the House rules Friday. He said no on Fox News Monday morning.

“I’m against the rules for two different reasons. One is to cut defense spending, which I think is an absolutely terrible idea, and the other is to vacate the chair. I mean, I don’t want to see us in lockdown every two months,” Gonzalez said.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Mays said he was “on the fence” about the rules package because he “doesn’t support a small number of people trying to make deals or making deals privately. .”

Republicans, who are expected to support the rules package, are grappling with the concessions McCarthy must make to win the speakership.

Representative David Joyce, a moderate Ohio Republican, told CNN that McCarthy should be concerned that a single member could force a vote of no confidence in the speakership.

“I am not a speaker. So it was more about Kevin than it was about me, but it got it back to the way it was in the first place. I don’t think we’re going to change the way we do business here,” he said, adding that it should only be used in the most extreme circumstances.

Asked if everyone agrees, Joyce told CNN: “Probably not.”

House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Cole told CNN: “I’m open to cutting costs and we have to do that. I’m not willing to cut security, which is half of the discretionary budget.

McCarthy’s Republican allies sought to push back on the idea of ​​cutting defense spending, saying domestic spending would be targeted.

“There’s going to be good conversations, there already have been, you can’t cut defense, right? It should go down a very predictable path,” said Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Republican of Texas. “We’ve massively increased spending on non-defense programs because that’s always the deal, right? There’s a lot to work with there, in my opinion.

House GOP leaders plan to vote this week on red-meat news bills related to taxes, abortion and energy, starting with a vote on Monday to roll back an IRS funding increase.

The bill is likely to pass the House along party lines, but will not pass the Democratic-majority Senate.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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