Critics of the 20 Republicans standing athwart the coronation of Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House speaker claim that the holdouts do not have any specific requests.
Yet that isn’t true.
All they had to do was ask a few of them for their demands to figure out what they want or listen to their media hits.
The fundamental complaint is that they have watched the federal government grow in scope and power over the past 15 years or so, harming the quality of life in America.
In order to stop that decline, these 20 individuals have varying ideas on how to deviate from the status quo — whether through leadership personnel or rule changes in the House. Ultimately, they want to better ensure that the government puts forth constructive legislation — or blocks bad bills — on behalf of the American people.
How will they do that?
Well, Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) has been consistent and concise in explaining why he is against McCarthy’s speakership. More than that, Roy has even shown flexibility in what he wants — a trend that readers will find with numerous officials requesting compromise in the new Congress.
On Wednesday evening, Roy laid out a few ideas for how to shake up Washington, D.C., during an interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier.
“What exactly do you want? You want what? Four out of nine positions on the Rules Committee?” the Fox News anchor asked.
“Well, I’m going to give you exact numbers, but I want to be able to have enough members on the Rules Committee that we can block bad bills — so that can be three, that can be four,” he explained. “And I want to make sure that Republicans are the ones making sure those bills get through the Rules Committee to the floor, and I want an open amendment process, and I want to be able to have the ability to make points of order on the floor if amendments aren’t going to be relevant, if they’re not germane, etc.”
Critics keeps saying that the House Freedom caucus & anti-McCarthy crowd don’t have any specific demands.
It’s not true.
— Tim Meads (@TimMeadsUSA) January 5, 2023
It would appear that McCarthy has offered the holdouts concessions similar to Roy’s requests, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ reported that McCarthy’s latest offer “included changing rules to allow for one member to call a vote to oust the speaker” while also agreeing to “place more members of the House Freedom Caucus, which counts many McCarthy detractors among its ranks, on powerful committees,” per sources close to the matter.
However, according to Chairman of the Freedom Caucus Representative Scott Perry (R-PA), the offer is not exactly what it seems.
“While he claimed to offer fair and equal representation for conservatives on all House committees when we provided specific names willing to serve on each — as he requested — he balked,” Perry told The Washington Examiner.
As explained by the Examiner, “The House Freedom Caucus’s list of demands included a pledge from leadership to diversify the powerful Steering Committee, which determines committee assignments, by opening up more spots on the panel for members to win through election from their colleagues, not appointment from leadership.”
Why do they want that? Well, they don’t trust the GOP leadership, which McCarthy has been a part of for the last 14 years.
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Fox News that McCarthy couldn’t be trusted because of the lack of conservative policy victories and overall agenda during that time.
“I think this ends one of two ways,” Gaetz said Wednesday evening. “Either Kevin bows out, realizing there’s no path for him to become Speaker of the House, even if he picks up one, or two, or three, or five of the 20 who have opposed him half a dozen times on the floor. Or he essentially has to wake up, bring the House into session and put on a straight jacket with a rules package, that we presented to him, that doesn’t allow for a lot of discretion for the Speaker of the House.”
Gaetz also claimed that each member opposing McCarthy was doing so because their constituents sent them to the Capitol precisely to disrupt the status quo.
“The reason we demanded that is that we do not trust Kevin McCarthy — and it’s not a small body of work,” he added, explaining that he and his allies will change D.C. either by getting a different speaker or rewriting the “fundamental” rules.
Part of that distrust stems from the disruption that a McCarthy-endorsed super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, has meddled in Republican primaries.
The argument is that McCarthy’s allies put forth the money to block more conservative candidates from winning, thus ensuring power for the potential Speaker. Wednesday evening, CLF announced that it would no longer put money into safe-open primaries. Critics claim that there are still workarounds for McCarthy to support milquetoast candidates and that agreement is “toothless.”
We’re not trying to dictate terms. We represent our constituents.
Kevin McCarthy has no ideology. He’s a vessel through which lobbyists and special interests operate.
My team are the people in Florida who sent me here to fight for them. pic.twitter.com/3mn093kcLo
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 5, 2023
Gaetz is decisively against McCarthy — no matter what — but another GOP holdout, Representative Dan Bishop (R-NC), said he has “never ruled out Kevin.”
When asked if there is anything that McCarthy can do to get members to flip and support the California congressman, Bishop stated, in part, “Somebody could come up with an even better idea than what we have been able to suggest so far that would give us that confidence,” that there would be “guardrails” around the speaker’s office to ensure that good bills on behalf of the American people come to the floor.
Everyone in America knows that Washington is deeply broken. We finally have an opportunity to fix it – and we must take it.
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) January 4, 2023
So, essentially, the demands from the anti-McCarthy crowd boil down to assurances that GOP leadership, oft-out-of-touch with the Republican base, will not have an inordinate amount of control in the new Congress while having the ability to stifle genuine conservative efforts to change Washington.
Whether that be through rule changes that alter the way Congress works and limits the speaker’s power with McCarthy in the role, or with similar rules but a different choice for speaker, remains to be determined.
Yet the idea that the 20 Republicans opposed to McCarthy have no specific demands nor tangible suggestions is nonsense.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.