Jun 13, 2023, 7:20am EDT

Conservatives hit pause on their revolt against McCarthy

REUTERS/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

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The News

The eleven conservative holdouts who shut down the House last week have struck a deal with Speaker Kevin McCarthy to resume votes — for now.

“The floor will be functioning this week,” Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont. told reporters shortly after leaving the speaker’s office.

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Kadia’s view

The short-term agreement appears to hinge on revisiting the relationship between McCarthy and the far-right flank of the Republican conference who crippled the House’s ability to pass legislation as retaliation for the debt limit deal the speaker brokered with President Biden.

“The power-sharing agreement that we entered into in January with Speaker McCarthy must be renegotiated,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. told reporters. “It has to be renegotiated in a way so that what happened on the debt settlement vote would never happen again, where House conservatives will be left as the less desirable coalition partner than Democrats.”

McCarthy, for his part, said nothing has been put on paper, or even finalized.


“The only thing we agreed to is that we’ll sit down and talk more in the process,” McCarthy told reporters.

Last week, McCarthy canceled votes after a group of members blocked a measure that would have put four bills on the floor, including one to prevent states from restricting the use of gas stoves. On Tuesday, GOP leaders plan to bring up a rule once again allowing votes on those bills, as well as a resolution conservatives have advocated for that would overturn a Biden administration measure meant to regulate pistol braces.

Last week’s impasse underscored the leverage a small group of GOP members still hold over leaders trying to navigate a tiny House majority. It’s also unclear how long the truce between McCarthy and his right flank will last.

“The agreement to vote for the rules package was to liberate the pistol race legislation,” Gaetz said. “And you know, there’ll be more votes next week and more rules and if there’s not a renegotiated power sharing agreement, then perhaps we’ll be back here next week. That’s not our goal.” “Our goal is to continue to build off the momentum of this discussion we just had.”

When asked if floor votes could be expected to go smoothly after this week, Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., one of the holdouts, sounded non-committal.

“Time will tell,” he said.