House Leaders Cancel Votes for Rest of Week After Conservative Mini-Rebellion

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
June 8, 2023Congress
House Leaders Cancel Votes for Rest of Week After Conservative Mini-Rebellion
U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks to members of the press outside his office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on June 7, 2023. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House leaders on Wednesday canceled scheduled votes for the remainder of the week after a rebellion by around a dozen conservative Republican members jolted party unity.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters on Wednesday evening that his goal is to “try to work this out by the end of the night.”

The group of 11 hardline conservatives, dissatisfied with the debt limit bill negotiated by McCarthy and signed into law by President Joe Biden, effectively halted voting on the House floor on Tuesday.

They voted against the speaker on a procedural matter, blocking consideration of several bills supported by Republicans, including ones related to gas stoves and regulatory reforms.

“House Leadership couldn’t Hold the Line. Now we Hold the Floor,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said on Twitter.

Despite efforts to negotiate, House leaders and the conservative members failed to reach a resolution, resulting in an extended recess on Wednesday and the subsequent cancellation of votes.

McCarthy acknowledged the frustration of the conservative members but said that they haven’t put forward specific requests and are upset about various issues. He also noted that other members have also come forward with separate requests and recognized the temporary “chaos” but emphasized his focus on serving the American public.

“What we’re going to do is we’re going to come back on Monday, work through it, and be back open for the American public,” McCarthy said.

The final House votes for the week were supposed to take place by 3 p.m. on Thursday. The cancellation of votes, while symbolic due to the bills’ slim chances of passing in the Senate, effectively caught the speaker’s attention and prompted meetings to preserve Republican unity.

“This is the difficulty. Some of these members, they don’t know what to ask for,” McCarthy said. “There are numerous different things they’re frustrated about.”

“There’s a little chaos going on,” he added. “But the focus I always keep is right in front of the windshield of the American public.”

GOP Hardliners’ Grievances

The conservative group’s grievances centered around what they claim are forceful tactics by the GOP leadership team and a failure to honor agreements made with them during McCarthy’s election as speaker.

McCarthy made concessions to the hardliners during his challenging 15-ballot election as speaker. Some of those hardliners later took part in the procedural revolt on Tuesday. They claim that McCarthy reneged on his commitments regarding the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

McCarthy expressed confidence in his speakership on Wednesday night, saying that he expected challenges from “a small majority” of outspoken members with “strong opinions” who understand media tactics. He emphasized the need for unity among Republicans while acknowledging the importance of listening to and respecting different perspectives.

I will listen to them. I will respect them all. But at the end of the day, we’ve got to come together as one,” he said.

When questioned about frustrations among other Republican lawmakers regarding the delay caused by the House Freedom Caucus members, McCarthy shifted the focus to his concerns about government interference in dictating Americans’ use of gas stoves.

He suggested that the situation wouldn’t have arisen without the Biden administration, saying, “It’s weird that you even have to have this [bill].”

He also expressed doubt that the 11 members, mostly from the House Freedom Caucus, truly wanted to align themselves with Biden’s approach of “dictat[ing] to the American public what type of stove they can have.”

As previously reported by The Epoch Times, there have been complaints from congressional lawmakers about alleged pressure tactics and threats of retaliation against members who voted against the debt limit bill, known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) claimed that GOP House leaders warned him that it would be challenging to advance a bill he sponsored if he voted against the act. However, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) denied that any such threat was made.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) claimed that Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.) faced “harassment” from multiple members in an effort to influence her vote.

A Capitol Hill staffer familiar with GOP leadership stated that no coercive tactics originated from McCarthy.

Jackson Richman and Lawrence Wilson contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times