The path to becoming House Speaker for Kevin McCarthy was not straightforward, but he eventually succeeded by winning over a number of Freedom Caucus members by promising to support their legislative agenda.
According to Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the caucus’ more well-known members, things are going well for the California Republican so far.
The Florida firebrand stated that he had “no plans” to have McCarthy removed after “Fox News’ Chad Pergram reported that a source close to the negotiations told him McCarthy needs 180 Republican votes as a bare minimum to pass a debt ceiling bill — if he doesn’t, a conservative Republican could call for a motion to “vacate the chair” in a vote of no confidence in McCarthy’s leadership,” according to The Washington Examiner.
Gaetz countered by stating that he is not considering that option at the time because McCarthy has kept his promise.
“I have no plans to seek the removal of Speaker McCarthy barring some dramatic, unexpected turn of events,” Gaetz said in a statement to the Examiner.
“You don’t remove someone simply because you disagree with them. By that standard, no speaker would last a single day. Speaker McCarthy simply must deliver on the promises he made in January. So far, his record doing so is admirable. So far,” he added.
The Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, usually regarded as McCarthy’s most important accomplishment during his tenure, was passed by Republicans in late April. Following that, House GOP leaders have been in talks with the White House to identify clauses of the agreement and determine the lines on which neither side is willing to make concessions.
The Examiner went on to say:
Several outcomes are at play, with McCarthy’s best-case scenario being that he and President Joe Biden come to an agreement as early as Tuesday, with the House voting on the newly negotiated bill early next week. The Senate would not likely vote on a bill until June 1 or 2, the former being the date that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen gave as a deadline for Congress to raise the debt ceiling.
Stalling on raising the debt ceiling for a long period of time is projected to create severe financial consequences for the United States, Yellen has repeatedly told both Congress and the White House.
McCarthy’s worst-case scenario could be a challenge to his leadership if Republicans believe he either conceded on too many areas or already are unhappy with the state of the original GOP debt ceiling bill. Some House Republicans who have expressed their concerns over the GOP’s bill, such as Gaetz and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), are also the same lawmakers who held out against voting for McCarthy for speaker.
The White House called Biden and McCarthy’s meeting on Monday evening “productive,” but no agreement has been reached as of yet.
“He walked through some of the things that he’s still looking at he’s hearing from his members. I walked through things I’m looking at,” McCarthy said of his call with the president. “What I’m looking at are where our differences are and how could we solve those. And I felt that part was productive. But look, there’s no agreement. We’re still apart.”
Far-left House members, on the other hand, have cautioned Biden against making too many concessions to the majority Republicans.
The Washington Examiner reported last week that the progressives vowed not to support any debt ceiling bill that they felt gave too much to Republicans.
There are concerns among some of Congress’s most progressive politicians that Biden may be willing to compromise on important issues that hold significance for the Congressional Progressive Caucus, according to the outlet. While Biden has expressed his firm stance on certain areas, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, as non-negotiable in the ongoing discussions, the outlet added.