House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy outlined some of the concessions he agreed to His campaign for Speaker On Sunday evening’s conference call — including making it easier to topple the speaker, according to multiple GOP sources on the call. But even after giving in to some of the right’s most pressing demands, McCarthy can’t say whether he’ll have the votes for speakership.
On Sunday evening, House Republicans released their set of rules for the 118th Congress, formalizing some of the concessions McCarthy agreed to. The House adopts its set of rules only after McCarthy picks a speaker who is not locked in, so more compromises could be made in the coming days.
In a “Dear Colleague” letter from the California Republican Party, he laid out his case for the speakership and made additional promises, including ensuring that ideological groups are better represented on the committees.
After Sunday’s call, a group of nine hardliners – who outlined their demands to McCarthy last month – issued a new letter clarifying that some of the concessions he announced were insufficient and that they were still not sold on him. He said progress is being made.
“Until now, specific commitments have not been consistently found in each element of our request, and therefore, there is no way to measure whether promises are being met or broken,” the members wrote in a letter obtained by CNN.
The group is still pushing to give one lawmaker the power to overrule the speaker and call a vote, and they want, among other things, assurances that the leadership won’t play in primaries. McCarthy still has a lot of work to do before Tuesday, as he can only lose the House Ford by four votes.
The California Republican Party told its members on a call Sunday that after weeks of negotiations, they had agreed to a lower threshold of five people to trigger a vote to oust the speaker at any time, known as the speaker’s “motion to vacate.” chair, and called it a “compromise.” CNN first reported Last week he was in favor of that threshold.
Some moderates — who fear the move to vacate will be used as a constant pawn over McCarthy’s head — pushed back and expressed their frustration during the call, the sources said.
Representative Dusty Johnson of South Dakota said he was unhappy with the lower limit McCarthy agreed to, although he indicated he would swallow it, but only if it helped McCarthy win the speakership. Other members made it clear that if McCarthy’s critics blocked his speakership bid, the negotiated terms of the package would be off the table.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Ballard of Florida insisted that the concession would get him 218 votes on a motion to vacate McCarthy. But he did not respond directly, although McCarthy had earlier called for people to be moving “slowly” in the right direction.
However, later in the call, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz — one of the five “hardest” votes for McCarthy — said he would not support McCarthy despite all the offers.
Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida repeated Diaz-Ballard’s question, asking McCarthy to respond. McCarthy’s response, according to sources, was that they had two days to close the deal and they had to close.
Rep.-elect Mike Lawler of New York asked Gets if he would support McCarthy if a single lawmaker agreed to bring a motion to vacate the threshold before Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Rules. McCarthy declined to entertain the idea, but Gates replied that he would consider it if he were presented with the offer now.
McCarthy said he disagreed with Getz’s characterization, arguing that the rest of the convention could not support lowering the threshold to one person. “It’s not about me,” the California Republican said. However, McCarthy asked Getz to say “yes” if a person came to the limit, to which Getz has yet to commit, saying that if it was a genuine offer, he would entertain it.
The package released late Sunday includes giving five Republicans the power to call a vote on impeaching a sitting speaker; Restoration of the ability to zero out the salary of a government official; giving lawmakers 72 hours to read a bill before it comes to the House; and creating a new selective commitment to investigating the “weaponization” of the Justice Department and the FBI.
The set of rules does not change the process for discharge petitions, which allow lawmakers to bypass the leadership and force a bill through if it has the support of 218 lawmakers.
Other notable items of interest: The rules package bans remote hearings and markups, eliminates employee unionization efforts and allows the House Ethics Committee to take ethics complaints from the public.
While the package is being billed as final, GOP sources cautioned that nothing is final until it is passed.
After the House elects a speaker and swears in members, lawmakers vote on a set of rules that govern how the chamber operates.
This story has been updated with additional updates.