By Bethany Blankley (The Center Square)
U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, was one of 20 House members who did not support new Speaker Kevin McCarthy until the California Republican committed to putting seven bills to a vote and agreeing to other concessions.
McCarthy, who was elected after 15 rounds of voting, is ranked as the second most politically left member among House Republicans, according to a 2020 govtrack.us. analysis.
McCarthy agreed to a list of concessions from conservative members of the Freedom Caucus, including Gaetz, who tweeted“this is what we fought for.”
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The seven bills included one that would withdraw funding for “certain balances made available to the Internal Revenue Service,” including the government’s plan to hire 87,000 IRS agents to expand Americans’ tax scrutiny.
Two bills address abortion: one would ban taxpayer-funded abortions; the other would amend Title 18 of the US Code to provide safeguards for children who survive abortions or attempted abortions.
Two commit to border security measures: suspending illegal “alien entry” and requiring the national criminal background check system to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and relevant state and local agencies when an illegal foreigner attempts to obtain a firearm.
Another bill would prohibit the Secretary of Energy from sending petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China. Another would amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act to direct prosecutors and prosecutors to report to the office of the US Attorney General.
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Until the agreed concessions, negotiated by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, include limiting spending to 2022 levels for fiscal 2024, creating a subcommittee to investigate the Justice Department, allowing more Freedom Caucus representatives to serve on the Rules Committee and returning to a one-member threshold for a motion to leave the speaker’s office, which it was prior to 2019.
Another concession includes the ability for any member of a party to offer floor amendments during appropriations, which Congress has not done since May 2016.
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Roy said he also required members of Congress to have at least 72 hours to read bills before being voted on, rather than bills being “rammed by the Rules Committee and sent to the floor,” which of they are expected to pass them on without knowing what they contain. them.
Roy told CNN that what the 20 holdouts were able to accomplish was “history, because it hasn’t happened in the last 100 years.”
McCarthy’s election marked the 15th time multiple votes were required to elect a Speaker of the House most controversial taking 133 votes over two months.
Conservative House members also tried to hold McCarthy accountable for voting with Democrats and against conservative principles.
According to Conservative reviewMcCarthy earned an F grade for his voting record, which over the past six years shows a history of supporting unrestricted spending of taxpayers’ money, raising the debt ceiling, voting against funding border security measures and voting for amnesty for illegal aliens .
The analysis evaluated the top votes from the past six years and identified 24 votes that gave it an unsatisfactory mark.
According to CR’s analysis, McCarthy voted for the NDAA in 2022 without requiring the Department of Defense to withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine mandate; voted to fund an initial $40 billion in aid to Ukraine with no accountability for how the money is spent or with no conditions for Ukraine to pay it back. Since then he has voted to send another $45 billion to Ukraine while cutting funding for US border security. He also voted to pass a $1.5 trillion Omnibus bill “to fund Biden’s vaccine mandates,” and voted to bail out the US Postal Service and “keep Medicare on the bill,” notes CR on.
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In 2020, McCarthy voted for $1.4 trillion in special interest spending in a “so-called COVID relief bill”; to pass the NDAA without section 230 reforms; and for the “gag and vote for it” emergency legislation for small businesses killing the coronavirus.”
In 2019, McCarthy voted for a $555 billion “Christmas Minibus Spending”; to suspend the debt ceiling, lift budget caps and increase spending by $321 billion. to pass a $19 billion bill without funding border security and, according to Conservative Review, to “surrender at the border wall; strengthening drug cartels and traffickers;” and to “reduce accountability in Congress by making federal wages mandatory spending.”
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.