McCarthy gives in to key Tory demand – but uncertainty remains over speaker offer
And the New Year’s rally made it clear that several GOP lawmakers want more clarity from McCarthy and his team on exactly how those compromises translate into support for his president’s vote on Jan. 3 — just two days away.
“A lot of us said we’re only going to accept the rules if we get 218 for Kevin,” said a House Republican, who is an ally of McCarthy.
Changing the House vote of no confidence – known as the motion to vacate the chair – is among a list of changes Republicans are proposing in their new majority. Many of these changes are flawed and procedural, involving everything from how budget markers estimate the cost of a bill, to how the House raises the debt ceiling, to whether members can to vote by proxy.
A rule change, however, was particularly significant for Republicans.
The nullification motion — the same tool the Tories effectively used to unseat former Speaker John Boehner in 2015 — could pose a serious threat to McCarthy as his conference takes office this week by one of the widest margins. thin of the story.
“Some of the rule changes are in the works, some of us will live with them even though we think some of them may be unnecessary,” said another member, who supports McCarthy.
There was another ominous sign for McCarthy on Sunday: a group of nine Tories who did not say how they planned to vote on Jan. 3. published a letter saying they remained dissatisfied with McCarthy’s responses to their inquiries last month.
“Despite some progress, Mr. McCarthy’s statement comes almost impossibly late to address lingering shortcomings before the opening of the 118th Congress on Jan. 3,” the group, led by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) wrote. .
The group said McCarthy’s response, given to them on Saturday, “lacks specific commitments to virtually every element of our demands”, although they said some of the progress had been “helpful”.
House Republicans had hoped to release their full set of rule changes by Sunday evening. But the ongoing negotiations on certain elements – in particular the motion to cancel – make this public release less certain.
Voting on a new set of House rules will be one of the first acts of the GOP majority later this week, but only after Republicans elect a president.
At one point during the call, Rep-elect Mike Lawler (RN.Y.) asked Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) if he would support McCarthy if he agreed to lower the threshold to one. . (That would revert to House rules before the Democratic takeover in 2019.)
Gaetz responded by noting that McCarthy would not agree to that, to which the California Republican replied that it is the conference that will oppose that threshold.
And McCarthy said he would like to hear Gaetz’s response, but Gaetz – one of his staunchest opponents – said he would think about it. At one point he asked: is this an offer?
While it’s speculation, the members also say McCarthy didn’t investigate whether he would go below five.