A dozen conservative lawmakers voted down a rule bringing a set of Republican-backed bills to the House floor for debate. This is a move that hasn’t been seen in the chamber in over two decades, and it is a clear revolt against Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s leadership.
Politico described the move as an “extraordinary rebellion” that was “entirely unexpected by senior Republicans,” adding that it represents “the beginning of a conservative drive to undercut” McCarthy.
The votes pertained to passing legislation protecting gas stoves from potential government bans – something conservatives obviously support and a clear indication that this is more a warning shot than anything else.
At issue is the Biden-McCarthy debt ceiling agreement that earned more votes from Democrats than Republicans and gives the President two years to continue wantonly borrowing money.
McCarthy described the deal as “fabulous” and its passage as “one of the best nights I’ve ever been here.”
The 12 conservative lawmakers seemingly disagree, and their vote indicates that they’d like to see the Speaker adhere to some of the promises and concessions he made during the brutal effort to earn the gavel, or risk having his agenda derailed.
“We’re not going to live in the era of the imperial speaker anymore,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said afterward. “We took down the rule because we’re frustrated at the way this place is operating… We’re concerned that the fundamental commitments that allowed Kevin McCarthy to… pic.twitter.com/TP0Njved32
— Grace Chong 🇺🇸 (@gc22gc) June 6, 2023
The Conservative Revolt Against Kevin McCarthy
CNN host Jake Tapper reported on the extraordinary revolt against McCarthy during his broadcast on Tuesday, mentioning it was the “first time in more than two decades, the House of Representatives voted down a rule.”
“It’s really a warning shot across the bow to Kevin McCarthy,” Tapper explained. “‘Hey, bud, we don’t like what you did to us and we can bring down legislation if you don’t listen to us.’”
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) June 6, 2023
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Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) suggested the protest votes were an effort to enforce the fact that they wanted an end to the “imperial speakership.”
“Today we took down the rule because we’re frustrated at the way this place is operating,” Gaetz said. “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.”
Matt Gaetz activated:
“We’re concerned that the fundamental commitments that allowed McCarthy to assume the speakership have been violated.” pic.twitter.com/6H5d42QNyP
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) June 6, 2023
Will The McCarthy-Biden Republicans Be Primaried?
The Politico report conveys a notion that the conservative revolt against Kevin McCarthy was truly surprising and caught Republican leaders off guard.
Good. They need to be kept aware of the fact that their retake of the House in January was a voting mandate to stop the liberal administration from doing more harm to the country.
When you capitulate on a debt ceiling agreement in which you’ve got all the leverage, resulting in more Democrats voting in favor and then publicly celebrating the deal, you know you’ve gone against why you were put in the leadership role in the first place.
The debt limit agreement was not “fabulous” as McCarthy asserts, but the revolt holding him accountable certainly is.
All we are asking is that Speaker McCarthy abide by the spending commitments he previously made. That’s not an unreasonable ask. pic.twitter.com/BggfSTSdn7
— Rep. Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) June 7, 2023
And who knows? Maybe this is just the beginning.
Earlier this week, former campaign manager for Donald Trump Steve Bannon called on each of the 149 Republicans who voted in favor of the debt ceiling agreement to be primaried in 2024.
That includes significant MAGA allies Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Jim Jordan (OH), and James Comer (R-KY).
“Those 149 who voted it (debt ceiling), all have to be primaried — ALL OF THEM, incl ppl we’re quite fond of & some we used to be fond of…”
— Grace Chong 🇺🇸 (@gc22gc) June 5, 2023
There needs to be more conservatives in the House that fight back against President Biden as opposed to those who vote in a way that prompts him to give a prime-time celebratory speech like Greene, Jordan, and Comer did.