Republican opponents of Rep. Kevin McCarthy flipped to support him on the twelfth and thirteenth speaker ballots, giving the Californian renewed hope of ascending to the gavel.
Conservatives led by Texas Rep. Chip Roy negotiated a rules package that would devolve power away from the Speaker and back to committees and individual members. Although the details have not been made public, reports indicate that the deal between McCarthy and his detractors includes plum committee assignments, baseline spending promises, and a one vote threshold for the motion to vacate the chair. Maryland Rep. Andy Harris flipped to support McCarthy on the 13th ballot. (RELATED: Kevin McCarthy Loses 12th Bid Despite Flipping 14 Votes)
“I can’t get into details about what the agreement contains, but if I were to characterize it in general, it is that it contains provisions both related to, you know we’ve been working on rules a long time, and we’ve done some more there. It has to do with personnel, how members of the conference will be appropriately distributed to key committees. It is about policy imperatives. There are critical issues that we must address,” North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop told reporters.
Roy, Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, and incoming House Financial Services Committee chairman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina negotiated the rules package on Thursday night and into Friday morning. Provisions include the motion to vacate threshold at one vote, a vote on a term limits constitutional amendment, and a plan to balance the federal budget over a ten-year period.
“It involves some leaps of good faith to see to it that it is implemented,” Bishop acknowledged.
It’s “about how to make this place work for the American people, and so that’s what you’ve seen happen here today. That’s what we’re continuing to work toward. I think we’ll be able to get there,” incoming Oklahoma Rep. Josh Brecheen added.
Republican Maryland Rep. Andy Harris flipped his vote to support McCarthy on the 13th ballot. He is angling to chair the Health and Human Services subcommittee on Appropriations.
Even if McCarthy gains the speaker’s gavel, the House will still need 218 votes to pass the rules package instituting the agreement. If the package does not pass, the McCarthy skeptics could defect.
“If the framework blows up, I’m out,” Perry said.