With the conservative insurrection paralyzing the House of Representatives sparking a bitter blame game among senior Republican leaders, senior Republican officials have defused internal tensions that have spilled over into the public eye and some of their own fervor. But he is desperate to calm down.
Allies of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy privately took the brunt of Tuesday’s unexpected House defeat when a group of Republicans forced a procedural vote on the GOP message bill to his top Deputy House Majority Leader Steve.・Aimed at Scalise. It showed the limits of the Speaker’s power in a narrow majority in the House.
McCarthy’s supporters say there is a reason for the current conflict. Scalise mishandled a request by hardline conservative Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia to have a vote on gun control legislation. And they thought Scalise should have apologized to Clyde before more members came forward with their own lists of demands and grievances, leading to bigger problems.
But Scalise’s supporters believe it is McCarthy. McCarthy cut off a deal to suspend the debt ceiling with President Joe Biden, drawing criticism from far-right forces for violating the terms of the January deal to become chairman. Mr. Scalise was not involved in any of these transactions.
Minnesota Rep. Tom Emer, a leading figure in the House Republican Party, has also sat on the sidelines of most of the debt ceiling negotiations and, according to two people familiar with the talks, said he was frustrated by the public and had to work. said it would be difficult to directly to him.
However, sources close to McCarthy said McCarthy was in constant contact with Emmer throughout the process and thanked Emmer at the Victory Lap press conference, even though Emmer wasn’t present. Emer will be in Washington, D.C., for the final weekend of negotiations, according to McCarthy’s allies, while Scalise is on hand for an annual fundraiser to raise money for the National Republican Congressional Committee and Republican candidates. I was staying at Disney World.
Asked Wednesday night whether his leadership team shared the same sentiment, McCarthy said, “Yes.”
This discord, occurring both within the leadership team and more broadly within the conference, highlights challenges in the next chapter of McCarthy’s speaking effort. After enjoying a certain unity after a run-off run for the gavel, Mr. McCarthy faces unrest from the far right of the conference under the influence of the Debt Restriction Act. Now he’s pushing more bills aimed at maintaining the unity of Congress against Democrats, but with rebels not afraid to throw the House into chaos to get leadership’s attention. facing each other.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said at a news conference in Washington, D.C., in April.
The move has sparked class outrage.
“This is political incontinence. Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack, a member of the committee, told reporters. “The honeymoon is over.”
Rep. Don Bacon, a McCarthy ally and representative of the battleground in Nebraska, said of the hardliners: Real conservatives don’t like anarchy and division. A divided home is unbearable. The team will win. ”
Mr McCarthy downplayed tensions in public, suggesting it was healthy to vent his frustrations. But he blamed disagreements between Scalise and Clyde on the current floor, blaming a vote against a key step in the debt ceiling bill that would force leadership to pass the pistol armament bill. He claimed to be “threatened”.
“Majority leaders run the floor. “I think it was a miscalculation, or a misunderstanding of what one said to the other.
Even before Tuesday’s procedural vote failed, Scalise said he was working to bring Clyde’s bill to the floor but lacked enough support to get it through the House. . And that’s all he told Clyde, he said. He was not among the 11 Republicans who opposed Tuesday’s procedural vote.
“We’ve had voting issues for a while. We’re still a little short on votes,” Scalise told reporters Wednesday. “I didn’t threaten him.
This is not the only time McCarthy and his campaign have attempted to denounce Scalise when confronting conservatives. At a meeting with McCarthy and his staff earlier this year, members of the House Liberal Party complained that Republicans had yet to hold committee hearings on the Unapproved Spending Program. It was one of many demands made by members of far-right groups during McCarthy’s election. Fight to become a speaker.
The response from McCarthy’s staff was, “That’s Mr. Scalise’s job,” said a person in the room. The Commission is under the authority of the Majority Leader.
Scalise’s close allies have been blindsided by majority leaders being sidelined from negotiations on both the debt ceiling and McCarthy’s chairmanship deal as their leadership struggles to overcome right-wing influence. pointed out. Even when he was out of town for the Republican Party’s annual Memorial Day fundraiser, according to one of the allies, Scalise was proactive in reaching out and guiding members through the debt ceiling process. It is said that he was participating in a meeting of
Scalise’s allies also said the conservative uprising centered on outrage over the McCarthy-Biden deal and whether McCarthy violated terms with conservatives to win the chairman’s gavel. It also says that there are But McCarthy’s allies say the controversy focuses precisely on Mr Scalise’s mishandling of the Clyde bill.
Conservatives say Mr McCarthy agreed to cut spending even sharper than the level of the debt ceiling deal in January, but Mr McCarthy has denied that. And on Wednesday night, he told reporters he didn’t even know what lawmakers wanted in exchange for allowing the House to run. Because all Democrats typically vote against rules that set the terms of congressional debates, just five Republicans can pass the rules, effectively repealing the bill. The House last voted against the rule in 2002.
“This is where it gets tricky,” McCarthy said. “Some of these members don’t know what to ask for. There are many things that annoy them. We will listen and solve the problem.”
Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy, who has emerged as the main critic of the debt ceiling deal, has refused to say what he wants in exchange for the bill to go to the House.
“We just want to get back to working,” Roy told CNN after meeting with the speaker. “That’s the goal of all the conversations we have now.”
Twenty-nine conservatives in the House of Representatives voted to repeal the bill last week, as McCarthy moved to vote on the debt ceiling bill. The bill was then saved when dozens of House Democrats voted to approve it, but it gave Democratic leaders an issue and angered McCarthy’s right wing.
“Twenty-nine members of the council voted against the rule,” Womack said. “This is unprecedented in the 13 years I’ve been here. And it shows that we still have deep divisions and strong opinions, bless our hearts.”
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, a member of the Freedom Caucus and a critic of McCarthy, said it was up to the president to decide whether he would not rely on Democratic support in the future.
“He formed a coalition last week, and I think it was an unholy alliance, so I’m more interested in that,” Biggs said.
Scalise has distanced himself from recent talks with conservatives in the president’s office.
Asked whether leadership would be willing to renegotiate McCarthy’s speaker contract to resolve recent conflicts, Scalise told reporters: “I was on the deal in January. No, so I imagine that whoever was involved in the deal would have such a conversation.”
The McCarthy-Scalise drama is just the latest chapter in the ongoing story between two men who have long been considered political rivals.
This lack of trust dates back to 2018, when Scalise weighed whether to challenge McCarthy for the top Republican seat, but earlier this year McCarthy was no longer a top Republican, and Garrett Graves and Patrick were among the top Republicans.・It was reignited by relying on other lawmakers such as Congressman McHenry. He enlisted his leadership team to help resolve the chairman’s impasse and the debt ceiling crisis. McCarthy certainly relied heavily on Emmer during the orator race.
McCarthy defended his selection of McHenry and Graves as central figures for the talks, saying they had a good grasp of both the subject matter and the various ideological groups within the conference. And he characterizes his leadership style to include more rank-and-file members.
Still, this is an unusual leadership dynamic that is starting to drive some Republicans in the wrong direction.
“The Speaker of the House makes all the decisions in secret meetings of unelected leaders,” said one Republican lawmaker. “He doesn’t seem to trust anyone on the rest of his chosen leadership team, because no one is at the table. This is the most dysfunctional leadership system I’ve ever seen.” is.”