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House Resumes Votes After Weeklong Stalemate Amid Conservative Revolt | Politics

House Resumes Votes After Weeklong Stalemate Amid Conservative Revolt | Politics

A group of House conservatives relented on Tuesday, falling in line with their conference for a procedural vote after a week of revolt that brought the chamber to a halt in the aftermath of the debt ceiling deal.
The reunification came together Monday evening, after members of the conference’s right flank met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who told reporters they agreed to “sit down and talk more” in future spending negotiations. The group of conservatives have repeatedly expressed opposition to the debt ceiling deal, where they argue the California Republican did not follow through on his agreements made during his fight to become speaker and gave too much to Democrats.

With the conference back in line – for the time being – and the rule on the parameters of debate agreed to, the House is set to move forward with legislation concerning a handful of issues it was set to take up last week, including combatting efforts to regulate gas stoves and enhancing congressional oversight of federal agencies, and a new addition – a resolution pushing back on pistol brace gun restrictions.

The pistol brace resolution became the topic of debate last week, as Rep. Andrew Clyde, Georgia Republican, who sponsored the legislation, claimed that Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana had threatened to keep the bill from a floor vote unless Clyde voted in favor of the debt ceiling deal. But Scalise has repeatedly denied the claim, saying that leaders were merely working on getting the votes together on the legislation.

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Ultimately, the measure, along with the legislation to protect gas stoves, is expected to have sufficient GOP support. But the bills have nearly no chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate.

“We have all this chaos, the floor was shut down,” Rep. Ted Lieu, California Democrat, said at a news conference Tuesday. “And what the radical Republicans extracted was a bill for a rule that’s going to now make guns more lethal.”

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Indeed, without Democratic support, the measures are effectively messaging bills. But the return to regular floor functioning marks a positive development for McCarthy, who faced a precarious situation with his conference in the aftermath of the hard-fought debt limit deal.

“As with every team, you win some games and you lose some every now and then, too,” Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota said at a news conference on Tuesday. “But you always come out stronger, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

But the now-resolved impasse also previews fights to come, should the conservative members of McCarthy’s conference become dissatisfied once again.

Especially when it comes to spending, the group is expected to continue to be a thorn in McCarthy’s side.

Late Monday, in what appeared to be a concession to conservatives, House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger, Texas Republican, announced that the spending caps agreed to in the debt ceiling deal were a “ceiling,” not a “floor,” committing to marking up the spending bills below the levels outlined in the deal.

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Though the move is popular with conservatives, it’s expected to be unpopular among Democrats, complicating efforts to approve all 12 appropriations bills ahead of an Oct. 1 deadline or face 1% spending cuts across the board, as agreed to in the deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar of California warned on Tuesday that the cuts would affect “vital” programs that Americans utilize.

“House Republicans are going to completely make themselves irrelevant, make their members vote on these deep, deep cuts and it has no possibility of becoming law,” Aguilar said. “Incredibly difficult to see that they want to put their members through this. But these are the deals that Kevin McCarthy has to make in order to hold the gavel.”

Kaia Hubbard

Published: 2023-06-13 19:29:12

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