Just a day before lawmakers are expected to vote on legislation that will keep the U.S. government from defaulting on its debt, some House Republicans are threatening to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the bill.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) told POLITICO in an interview on May 30 that he is considering triggering a vote of no confidence to push McCarthy out of the speakership over the debt deal negotiated with President Joe Biden.
“It is inescapable to me,” Bishop said. “It has to be done.”
House Republicans and the White House have been in a standoff over whether to vote to raise the nation’s debt limit. The debt ceiling is a cap on how much debt the federal government is allowed to accumulate. Congress is obligated under the constitution to authorize public debt.
JUST IN: The House Freedom Caucus appears to be considering removing McCarthy as Speaker if he goes forward with the Biden national debt deal.
"Were the bill to go forward, would you file a motion the vacate the chair?"
"I will let each member speak for themselves but for me I… pic.twitter.com/cNaLx3LJLy
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) May 30, 2023
Republicans sought spending cuts and other policy changes in return for their votes. But, many are stating publicly the deal McCarthy negotiated doesn’t actually cut spending. Under House rules, a single member can trigger a vote to remove McCarthy, which, as POLITICO notes, is now being considered by more Republicans following the debt deal many consider disastrous.
“Washington is broken. Republicans got outsmarted by a President who can’t find his pants,” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) wrote on Twitter. “I’m voting NO on the debt ceiling debacle because playing the DC game isn’t worth selling out our kids and grandkids.”
Washington is broken.
Republicans got outsmarted by a President who can’t find his pants.
I’m voting NO on the debt ceiling debacle because playing the DC game isn’t worth selling out our kids and grandkids.
— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) May 30, 2023
Mace says the deal struck between McCarthy and Biden “normalizes record high spending started during the pandemic” and sets those historically high levels of spending as the new baseline for all future spending. She added that the bill will then grow government annually at a rate of roughly one percent per year.
Mace also dismissed a report from the Congressional Budget Office purporting to show that the deal would cut more than $2.1 trillion, saying the estimate “relies on spending caps that do not exist and are not binding in any way in this deal.”
Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) says the deal concedes the U.S.’s ability to “leverage border security during the [worst] border crisis in our history,” and does not hold the government accountable.
“The concessions made by the Speaker in his negotiations with President Biden fall far short of my expectations and the expectations of my friends and neighbors in Congressional District 38,” Hunt added in a lengthy Twitter thread.
The concessions made by the Speaker in his negotiations with President Biden fall far short of my expectations and the expectations of my friends and neighbors in Congressional District 38.
— Wesley Hunt (@WesleyHuntTX) May 30, 2023
“Adding another $4 trillion to the national debt in exchange for spending cuts that amount to a rounding error will condemn your children and mine to generations of untold debt. If we don’t stand up to the Biden Administration now, then when?” Hunt wrote. “For these reasons and more, I will be voting NO on the Biden-McCarthy proposal to raise our nation’s Debt Ceiling. I urge my Republican colleagues to do the same.”
Rep. Russell Fry (R-S.C.) has pledged to vote “No” on the debt limit legislation, explaining that voting “Yes” would violate his obligation to his constituents who do not want the bill passed.
“My constituents sent me to Congress to restore fiscal sanity and solve our nation’s spending problem. I am listening to their calls, emails, texts, and letters on this legislation. The Fiscal Responsibility Act does not go far enough to cut spending and fix our debt crisis,” Fry wrote on Twitter.
“The Fiscal Responsibility Act does not include adequate spending cuts, enforceable long-term spending caps, cuts on extreme government expansion plans, and strong enough work requirements for SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid,” he added. “President Biden jeopardized our nation’s fiscal stability by refusing to come to the negotiating table for far too long. While the Fiscal Responsibility Act includes some positive economic policies, it does not go far enough to gain my vote.”
The House Rules Committee is taking up the deal this afternoon. A simple majority of seven votes will advance the bill to the floor for a full vote, which is expected tomorrow.