The Republican Party’s most conservative members of Congress are considering removing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after he made an agreement with US President Joe Biden to raise the debt ceiling.
On Tuesday, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) said he “absolutely” supports a motion to oust McCarthy, suggesting a vote to do so “is inescapable.”
“It has to be done,” Bishop told a US outlet in an interview confirming his status as the first conservative in the lower chamber to publicly urge a revolt against the House speaker.
“I’m ready to go figure out how to fix this s*** sandwich. This can still be fixed but the road gets narrower to fixing it every time,” Bishop said. “And Kevin McCarthy’s been sitting there in leadership.”
Asked whether he was worried about Bishop proposing a motion to oust him, McCarthy replied: “No, that’s his choice.”
Numerous conservative-leaning lawmakers have lambasted the deal, suggesting it doesn’t do nearly enough to rein in spending. But so far representatives had refrained from publicly threatening to remove the leader over the agreement.
Bishop’s announcement came after a Monday night conference call among members of the House Freedom Caucus at which US Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) reportedly floated the idea of using a motion to vacate after the tentative deal between McCarthy and Biden.
The motion would allow a member of Congress to force a vote to remove the speaker.
Although Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who serves as the Freedom Caucus chairman, reportedly suggested it may be too soon to issue such a drastic threat, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) stated the removal motion could help force McCarthy to let members amend the bill and use a so-called “open rule” to stall its passage, possibly indefinitely. Perry reportedly pledged to discuss the issue further when members return to Washington after the extended weekend break.
Buck confirmed Tuesday that he raised the question of considering a motion to vacate on Monday, but said he wasn’t specifically calling for McCarthy’s ouster.
“I was asking my colleagues in the House Freedom Caucus whether they were considering a motion to vacate as a result of a broken promise,” Buck said, adding, “Scott Perry, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told me it’s premature: ‘Let’s get through this battle, and decide if we want another battle.’”
A spokesperson for Buck reportedly declined to comment on the call but said the representative is looking to solve the debt ceiling impasse in a way that seriously limits government spending.
“We don’t comment on internal HFC discussions,” Buck spokesperson Joe Jackson said. “Congressman Buck is focused on finding a debt ceiling solution that doesn’t give Democrats a blank check to add trillions of dollars to the debt in the next two years.”
At a Tuesday conference held by conservative congressional members, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) warned GOP leaders they would face a “reckoning” if the measure was allow to proceed.
“The Republican conference right now has been torn asunder,” he said, before ultimately suggesting “not one Republican” should vote for the deal.
The legislation managed to clinch its first win late Tuesday after the House Rules Committee voted in favor of allowing the measure to come for a full vote on Wednesday. The vote came down 7-6, with four Democrats and two Republicans voting against.
The House panel includes nine Republicans and four Democrats.
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