House Republican leaders hoping to pass a rule Monday to set up floor votes on a bill to constrain the government’s ability tosaw their efforts go up in flames after House Freedom Caucus (HFC) members, who are among the most conservative lawmakers in Congress, joined Democrats in opposing the rule.
The final vote for the rule was 206-220. A dozen Republicans opposed the rule — 11 of the members voting no were House Freedom Caucus members or allies. The 12th vote against the rule was cast by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who voted no in order to retain the ability to bring it up for a vote again later. All Democrats in the chamber voted against it.
Several of the conservatives said they voted against the rule because of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s handling of the debt ceiling and his violation of promises he made to them in order to win the speakership.
Reps. Dan Bishop, Republican of North Carolina, and Ken Buck, Republican of Colorado, are both unhappy that McCarthy broke what they say was his promise to keep discretionary spending at fiscal year 2022 levels, which the bill to raise the debt ceiling does not do. Instead, it keeps non-defense spending at 2023 levels for 2024, allowing increases in funding for veterans and defense.
Rep. Chip Roy, Republican of Texas, said of the debt ceiling, “We got rolled. It was a bad deal. And it was a bad deal that was cut when it shouldn’t have been cut. We warned them not to cut that deal without coming down and sitting down and talking to us. So, this is all about restoring a process that will fundamentally change things back to what was working.”
Bishop told reporters that HFC members have not decided whether this was a one-time protest vote, or if they’ll continue to oppose Republican leadership in rule votes.
“There’s no decision over a motion to vacate the chair. There’s no decision about rules votes,” he said. “But the problem that has been precipitated entirely by the speaker’s approach to the debt ceiling package is going to have to be dealt with.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida told CBS News, “We’re not going to live in the era of the imperial speaker anymore.”
Scalise could be seen talking to HFC members in the chamber while the vote was open, and later Tuesday evening, several of the members who helped sink the bill met with House GOP leaders for about an hour. They indicated afterward that talks would continue.
The House Rules Committee had met Monday, ahead of the expected vote later this week on the “Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act,” which would prohibit the federal government from banning the use of gas stoves. The bill was expected to pass the House, despite assurances from federal regulators that they have no plans or intention to issue a ban on gas stoves.
Democrats offered a series of amendments, some of which mock the legislation and the decision by House Republicans to prioritize the bill.
A pair of amendments initially drafted by Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat from Florida, appeared to lampoon the legislation. One such amendment called for a formal “sense of Congress that gas stoves merit consideration for an honorary statue in Statuary Hall” at the Capitol. Another of Moskowitz’s initial amendments called for a “czar position” within the Department of Energy called the “Supreme Allied Gas Commander to police the use and sale of gas stoves.”
Moskowitz told CBS News, “No one wants to ban gas stoves. Neither does the Biden administration. This is totally ridiculous.”
At the Monday hearing of the committee, Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican of Oklahoma, said, “The White House wants to limit your ability to purchase and use gas stoves.” Cole added, “Natural gas is used to heat just over half of the homes in my state, and just over a third of Oklahoma residents use a gas stove to cook at home.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Department of Energy each deny any consideration of a gas stove ban.
Jackie Kalil and Nikole Killion contributed to this report.