UPDATE: Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the House on the 15th ballot. However, Republicans do not have the votes to pass a rules package. That vote will be delayed until Monday.
DEVELOPING STORY: There was high drama on the House floor tonight as tempers flared when Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) voted present –leaving Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) just one vote shy of the speakership.
A visibly angry McCarthy confronted Gaetz with lots of finger pointing. At one point Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) had to be physically held back after he lunged at Gaetz. Watch video below.
McCarthy, who is known as a political agnostic, made massive concessions to conservative holdouts — but it wasn’t enough.
The final holdouts included Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Bob Good (R-VA) and Matt Rosendale (R-MT).
Boebert and Gaetz voted present.
Crane and Rosendale voted for Biggs. Biggs and Good voted for Jim Jordan (R-OH).
The Daily Mail reports the conservative lawmakers got the following guarantees from McCarthy, but it wasn’t enough:
- Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus got commitments to be added to the Rules panel. The committee exerts tremendous power by setting the terms of debate, but usually operates as a tool of the Speaker. (It traditionally has a 9:4 ratio, so the majority never loses).
- McCarthy had already agreed to a five-vote requirement to make the motion, which sets up essentially a vote of no-confidence in the Speaker, and agreed to lower it to a single lawmaker.
- McCarthy has agreed to take a hard line on increasing the statutory debt limit – which Congress must lift to accommodate spending it has agreed to through appropriations.
- The holdouts reportedly got a pledge to get floor votes on term limits and border security. The former in particular could drive a wedge through the conference. McCarthy himself was elected to the House in 2006.
- The Conservative Leadership Fund, a PAC backed by McCarthy, brokered a deal with the Club for Growth that will impact Republicans that join the House in the future. The CLF committed to stay out of ‘open’ primaries when a lawmakers vacates a seat. That gives arch conservatives a chance to prevail in a primary without getting pounded by leadership, which sometimes weighs in on behalf of candidates deemed more ‘electable.’
- McCarthy reportedly agreed to allow ‘open rules’ on spending measures, which could lead to lengthy debates and efforts to zero out funding for programs unpopular with Republicans.
- Another concessions is a cap on discretionary spending, CNN reported. although spending levels are usually negotiated by both chambers – and get influenced by the president’s budget requests.
- Republicans are girding to take on the Biden administration, and the rebels forced a commitment to set up a committee on the ‘weaponization’ of the DOJ. The idea had been floated as a subcommittee on the House Judiciary Committee. It’s exact structure and membership was uncertain.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Todd Starnes owns one of the top conservative radio stations in the nation. Click here to download his free app so you can listen to conservative news and talk 24-7.
Rep. Mike Rogers is physically pulled back as he gets animated towards Matt Gaetz. pic.twitter.com/jxul1x6rUf— TheBlaze (@theblaze) January 7, 2023