The House Freedom Caucus sent a warning shot in the direction of Speaker Kevin McCarthy Tuesday by refusing to approve the rules for debate over a pair of Republican bills that would ban federal officials from snuffing out gas stoves.
In writing about the revolt, NBC said the 220-206 vote to reject the rules was “stunning” to “longtime lawmakers and reporters who have not seen a rule vote — a procedural measure typically widely supported by the majority party — go down in more than two decades.”
Recalcitrant Republicans said the spark that lit the flareup came when Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who voted against the McCarthy-supported rule on the debt ceiling deal McCarthy reached with President Joe Biden, was told a bill he sponsored to support pistol-stabilizing braces would not come to the floor this week as a form of punishment.
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado made it clear that anger over last week’s debt deal is still smoldering, according to Fox News.
“We fought for every member to have representation, every member to be empowered to represent their constituents and that was stripped from us last week with this debt ceiling deal. It was a closed rule. We were not allowed to offer amendments. We didn’t even have the ability to give voice to this legislation.”
“This is what we fought for in January. We were serious when we did it,” she said. “We said Congress is broken and we want fundamental changes to this place.”
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida said he and others who blocked the rule from advancing are “frustrated at the way this place is operating,” according to Fox News.
“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,” he said.
“The answer for us is to reassert House conservatives as the appropriate coalition partner for our leadership instead of them making common cause with Democrats,” he said.
“We’re not going to live in a system where our members are subjected to this type of petty punishment. And we’re not going to live in a system where our constituents are left abandoned by anyone here in the Congress,” Gaetz said.
Republican Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina said that while there is a conversation taking place about instigating a motion to force a vote that could remove McCarthy, no action is planned just yet, according to Politico.
“But the problem that has been precipitated entirely by the speaker’s approach to the debt ceiling is going to have to be dealt with,” he said.
“It was an issue dealing with a member who was being threatened. So I sent a clear message,” Republican Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee said.
Clyde told Politico he was confident his bill will make it to the floor next week, and said the time for a vote on ousting McCarthy has not yet arrived.
“I think we’re not there … the discussions haven’t occurred. It’s always an option. Right now I think we need to work on the issues in the Republican conference before we deal with [a] motion to vacate,” Clyde said. “I would much prefer to see us work things out.”
McCarthy said he’s not worried about such a vote, according to NBC.
“Anybody can do a motion to vacate. I’m confident I’ll beat anyone they have,” he said.
The 11 Republicans who voted against Tuesday’s rule for the gas stoves legislation: Gaetz, Bishop, Boebert, Burchett, and Republican Reps. Chip Roy of Texas; Matt Rosendale of Montana; Ken Buck of Colorado; Eli Crane and Andy Biggs of Arizona; Ralph Norman of South Carolina; and Bob Good of Virginia, according to NBC.