House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and members of the rebellion that shut down the House for the past week emerged from a private meeting Monday evening with an agreement that will allow the chamber to function for at least this week. What McCarthy promised this time around isn’t any more clear than what he promised them privately back in January, when they finally allowed him to be speaker. What is clear is the speaker’s gavel is the extremists’ to extort any time they feel like it.
The truce is only temporary since they came out of the meeting not even agreeing on what they agreed to: Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz insists they have a new “power-sharing agreement” and that it will be in writing. McCarthy says otherwise.
Right there is enough to ensure the agreement probably won’t last beyond this week. That doesn’t mean McCarthy didn’t make big concessions—dangerous ones.
Last week, the rebels were all over the place on their reasons for shutting down the House, but in the end they had coalesced around the idea it was about the deficit, about the fact that McCarthy promised them when he was negotiating the debt ceiling deal with President Joe Biden that he wouldn’t budge from the spending levels they were demanding. He budged and did not get the cuts the extremists wanted. Apparently he’s now promising that they’ll get their cuts now, that he’ll renege on the agreement he made with Biden and give them what they want: spending cuts rolled back to 2022 levels.
McCarthy even got Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger to put it in writing. “I will use this opportunity to mark up appropriations bills that limit new spending to the Fiscal Year 2022 topline level,” Granger promised in a press release, thereby putting an official stamp on the House Republicans’ intent to shut the government down this fall. Because that’s what this means: The Senate will not agree to these cuts, and Biden won’t sign them. A government shutdown is all but inevitable.
That is, unless a different group of Republicans—the actual majority of Republicans—decide to flex the muscle of their numbers. Right now they’re just bitching about the fact that 11 members have taken control of the House.
That’s Rep. Mike Lawler, one of the freshmen from New York who is in a district that voted for Biden. “Some folks in the conference need to recognize their voice isn’t the only one that matters,” he says on Twitter. Another one of those swing district New Yorkers also took to tweeting his disgust.
They’ll be whining their way to a government shutdown and then to a lost election at this rate, because none of them seem to have cottoned on to the idea that they actually are the majority of their conference and that McCarthy is serving at their pleasure.
GOP rebels shut the House down
Matt Gaetz probe reopens; Freedom Caucus tantrum halts House
Freedom Caucus bites back
Kevin McCarthy is between a rock and a hard place. Good