House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s climb to the top GOP position in Congress wasn’t a cakewalk. It was only after a drawn-out series of votes and negotiations with the most conservative faction of the party that McCarthy finally clinched the position. However, the brewing conflict over the debt-ceiling deal might threaten his speakership.
A report from NBC News suggests that some House conservatives, dissatisfied with the agreement McCarthy negotiated with President Joe Biden, are contemplating deploying a parliamentary maneuver to oust the speaker.
On a Monday conference call with the House Freedom Caucus, a staunchly conservative group, Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado introduced the idea of invoking a rule that could trigger a fresh vote for the House Speaker position.
Referring to the proposal as “the elephant in the room,” Buck expressed his discontent with the current state of fiscal affairs in a Twitter post. He declared that “we need a real fiscal change in Washington. This bad deal isn’t the solution. It’s the opposite.”
NBC News reports that not every Republican is prepared to take such a drastic measure against McCarthy’s leadership. Still, the same report indicates that an unidentified lawmaker has conveyed that some Republicans consider the budget agreement to be “a complete miss.” It seems at least a handful of representatives might back Buck’s stance.
During the negotiation period that eventually led to McCarthy’s appointment as speaker, one of the compromises he made was to agree to a provision allowing a single House member to propose a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair. At the time, CNN reported that the move was significant because it effectively simplified the process to call a no-confidence vote on the speaker.
The McCarthy-Biden deal has been a contentious topic among many conservatives since it was announced. Some even took to social media to openly criticize the package. Buck referred to it as a “debt ceiling surrender” and called it “completely unacceptable.”
Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, responded to a plea to halt the bill on Twitter with a straightforward, “We’re going to try.”
As tensions simmer and the deal teeters on the brink, it remains to be seen whether the conservative faction’s attempts to prevent its passage will be robust enough to not only derail the deal but also topple Kevin McCarthy’s speakership.