(RightWing.org) – Early on Saturday morning, Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was elected as the new House Speaker. It was the longest election for the post in years, and McCarthy only managed to get across the line by making significant concessions to his GOP critics. Those could have serious implications for President Joe Biden’s spending agenda and the way the House works.
House adopts rules package which includes key concessions that Republican hardliners sought and McCarthy agreed to in his quest for the speaker's gavel: https://t.co/aCYAdKo0H2
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) January 10, 2023
McCarthy’s election as speaker should have been a simple matter with Republicans now holding a majority in the House. Instead, it dragged out over nearly five days and 15 ballots. The problem was a group of 20 Republicans known as the Freedom Caucus who feel McCarthy isn’t conservative enough. To wear down their resistance, he had to concede to several of their demands. Here are three key items that won him the election:
- Committee posts. McCarthy will appoint three members of the Freedom Caucus to the powerful House Rules Committee, giving them a say in what issues the House debates. McCarthy also agreed not to oppose Freedom Caucus candidates in open primaries with his own PAC.
- Reinstatement of the Holman Rule. The 1876 Holman Rule allows the House to amend appropriations legislation. Under the rule, bills can be amended to cut programs or fire (or reduce the salary of) specific federal employees. It’s been imposed and then rescinded several times over its history; bringing it back gives Republicans a powerful tool against Biden’s spending habits.
- Return of the Motion to Vacate the Chair. Finally, McCarthy will restore the ability for a single member of the House to trigger a vote on removing the speaker. This hasn’t actually been controversial for most of the House’s existence; it was a rule until Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took back the job in 2018 and scrapped it. Now McCarthy will restore it — but Democrats have already slammed it as “a ransom note to America from the extreme right.”
Democrats are already complaining about McCarthy’s concessions, even though their impact may be minimal. The rules he reinstated have worked fine for years, and the three new committee members will still have to work together with others to get things done. It’s likely the House will run just fine.
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