Republican Kevin McCarthy faces his next major obstacle in controlling a fractured, tiny majority after winning a dramatic 15-vote race to become House speaker: adopting a rules package to govern the House.
Usually, a relatively regular legislative task, creating and accepting a set of rules, represents the next confrontation for the embattled McCarthy.
McCarthy had to give in to a small group of hard-liners who wouldn’t support his elevation unless he acceded to their demands to become a speaker and win over doubters.
Those commitments—or at least some—are being codified in preparation for this week’s first votes by the majority party when parliament reconvenes.
At least two moderate Republicans voiced their concerns about backing the rules package on Sunday, noting what they called “secret negotiations” and the risk of giving a group of 20 conservatives undue authority.
McCarthy made several concessions, including restricting his authority by enabling one legislator to propose a motion to oust him as a speaker and limiting government expenditure, which might include defense cuts.
Additionally, they increase the seats held by the conservative Freedom Caucus on the committee that chooses which bills are brought to the House floor.
They also raise concerns about McCarthy’s ability to win over enough Republican votes on a crucial debt ceiling vote in the upcoming months, where Republicans hold a 222-212 advantage.
This is because conservatives are pushing for significant spending cuts first, despite opposition from the White House and a Democratic-controlled Senate.
Strong McCarthy supporter Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina stated she is still “on the fence” regarding the regulations.
About what has been made available to the public, Mace added, “I appreciate the rules package.” “What I oppose is a tiny group of people seeking to close a deal or transactions for themselves in private or in secret,” the author said.
She claimed that if a tiny group is given a more substantial hand than the more extensive group of moderates, it will be difficult to accomplish anything in the House.
She expressed concern that sensible legislation would not advance to the floor for a vote.
The rules package was categorically rejected by Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, who criticized an “insurgent caucus” he claimed would decrease defense expenditures and forward extreme policies, including immigration reform.