House Republicans Pass Rules For McCarthy’s Reign With One GOP Holdout

The House of Representatives passed on Monday evening a set of rules that will govern how the lower chamber operates for the next two years under the leadership of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

All Democrats voted against the rules package while every nearly Republican voted to pass it. The final tally was 220-213. The House clerk listed Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) as not voting. The set of rules featured concessions by McCarthy to woo hardline conservatives who were holding up his rise to the speakership last week across more than a dozen votes.

220-213: The House passes a rules package that contains concessions to far-right Republicans, including the ability for one House member to bring up a vote to oust the Speaker.

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) was the only Republican to vote “No,” joining all Democrats. pic.twitter.com/CkTGkzhwZH

— The Recount (@therecount) January 10, 2023

Among the concessions was changing the rules so that a sole member of the House can file a motion to vacate the chair, which would pave the way for what is essentially a no-confidence vote in the speaker.

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX), the one Republican to vote with Democrats against the rules package, warned such a provision will become a “nightmare” that will stymie Congress from getting anything done. He also raised concerns about a proposed cut to defense spending, which he called a “horrible idea” during an interview Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

Texas GOP Rep. Tony Gonzales said one of the reasons he will vote against the proposed House rules package is due to the defense spending cut, which he said is “a horrible idea.” But, Gonzales goes on to add, “I’m not whipping other members to vote against it.” pic.twitter.com/6ZTLSHiMBu

— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 9, 2023

Other provisions in the rules package include making it more difficult to raise the debt limit and setting the stage for the creation of a Judiciary select committee that will investigate the “weaponization of the federal government.” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is expected to chair that panel.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the third-ranking Republican in the House, also touted how members would “restore the People’s House” with these rules by ending proxy voting and mandating at least 72 hours after the release of bill text before a final vote.

Today, House Republicans will vote on a Rules package that will restore the People’s House by:

– Ending proxy voting
– Mandating at least 72 hrs after release of bill text before a final vote
– Establishing oversight plans to hold the Biden Admin accountable

— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) January 9, 2023

Democrats, who maintain control of the Senate and White House, raised concerns about reports the existence of a secret “addendum” to the rules package, which PunchBowl News said was reached as part of McCarthy’s dealings with the House Freedom Caucus to gain the support of its members in his quest for the speaker’s gavel.

“What I’m not concerned about is not just what’s written down here,” Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, the top Democrat on the Rules Committee, according to The New York Times. “I’m concerned by the back-room deals that Speaker McCarthy made with the Freedom Caucus in exchange for their votes.”

Before the vote Monday night Rep. French Hill (R-AR) denied there was an “addendum” to the package. “There’s no three-page addendum. There’s no extra stuff. Everything in the House rules package is posted on the House website,” he said on the House floor.

The first order of business for the GOP-controlled House, now that the rules are set, is to consider a bill to slash funding to the Internal Revenue Service.

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