I was 100% behind the conservative rebellion against newly-elected Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. A lot of people said it was pointless to challenge him, but if you looked closely, there was a specific list of concessions that the conservatives were trying to get. The mainstream news media tried to call the delays “chaotic” and “divisive”. But this is how you get what you want from a negotiation.
Here’s the story from Daily Wire:
After days of negotiations and 15 roll call votes, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy became House speaker early Saturday morning after reportedly giving major concessions to a group of Republican holdouts increasing the influence of some of the chamber’s most conservative members.
McCarthy’s concessions include changes to how the House is run, placing members of the House Freedom Caucus on key committees, and the creation of a committee to conduct a major investigation into the FBI.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz… told the New York Post. “Many of these things had been resisted by Kevin McCarthy as early as Monday and now we have an exquisite rules package.”
According to Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), the “juice was worth the squeeze.”
Here are the concessions:
These included getting a vote on a border security plan, a budget that doesn’t allow the debt ceiling to increase, an end to all COVID mandates and funding, a term limit vote, single subject bills, and allowing at least 72 hours given for members to read bills.
Another key provision is allowing for any member to introduce a motion to vacate the chair, meaning that members can demand a vote to remove the Speaker from the position. Another concession that was discussed throughout the week was creating an open amendment process to bills, making it easier for lawmakers to change bills during debate.
“Any power that limits the speaker’s power is a step in the right direction,” one Freedom Caucus staffer told the Post. “The Freedom Caucus is more relevant than ever, and McCarthy won’t be able to get anything done without our endorsement and support.”
Members of the Freedom Caucus will also reportedly be placed on the Rules Committee and the Appropriations Committee, committees crucial to how the House runs and how funding is doled out.
The House Freedom Caucus is the conservative wing of the conservative party. They have a reputation for solving problems with smart policies that win votes on both sides of the aisle. So the more influence they have, the more the actions of the Republican party are going to reflect the will of the Republican voters (rather than the Republican DONORS).
And here is the best win of all:
Another key concession given to the McCarthy holdouts was the guarantee that a Church-style committee would be formed to look into the politicization of the FBI. The Church Committee investigated CIA abuses in the 1970s, which led to the exposure of things like the infamous MKULTRA program.
“With the rules agreement we negotiated, we will have a powerful Church-style committee to go after the weaponization of the federal government – the FBI, DOJ, DHS, and all the rest,” Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) said. “This is a victory for the Constitutional rights of all Americans.”
Just to refresh everyone, here is the list of Republicans who refused to be rolled over by the Republican establishment:
Dan Bishop (NC), Lauren Boebert (CO), Byron Donalds (FL), Josh Brecheen (OK), Mike Cloud (TX), Andrew Clyde (GA), Eli Crane (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), Bob Good (VA), Paul Gosar (AZ), Andy Harris (MD), Anna Paulina Luna (FL), Mary Miller (IL), Ralph Norman (SC), Andy Ogles (TN), Scott Perry (PA), Matt Rosendale (MT), Chip Roy (TX), Keith Self (TX), and Andy Biggs (AZ).
What I thought was interesting is that Andy Ogles is a first-term representative from the 5th district in Tennessee, which includes the city of Nashville. I think we should expect great things from Andy Ogles. He did not go to Washington to mark time.