Republican North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop called for Kevin McCarthy’s removal from the speakership after a Tuesday press conference.
“It is inescapable to me,” Bishop said of introducing a motion to vacate the chair, adding that he would not file unless the motion to vacate has wider support. One of 20 Republicans to vote against McCarthy in January, Bishop added that he doesn’t “make single decisions like that alone. And so it depends on what the members who have courage” do on the vote.
Under House rules, any single member may file the motion to vacate. McCarthy can survive no more than four Republican defections unless Democrats vote to keep him in the top seat. Bishop’s threat marks a major escalation from his Freedom Caucus colleagues, several of whom are declining to weigh in directly on the motion to vacate.
Rep. Bishop raising his hand when the members here were asked if motion to vacate is on the table
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) May 30, 2023
“I am focused on this bill. Whatever happens post-that and the agreements that we had, we will decide once we’ve determined the disposition of this bill in its finality,” caucus chairman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania said at the press conference.
“I think that’s something that’s going to be tackled after this. That vehicle is a serious one,” Florida Rep. Byron Donalds told reporters. “I’m going to deal with that after this. My issue right now is this bill.”
Texas Rep. Chip Roy told talk show host Glenn Beck that Republicans might need to “figure out the whole leadership arrangement again” if the debt ceiling bill passes. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: With Speaker Vote One Day Away, McCarthy Struggles To Corral Holdouts)
Roy has repeatedly argued that the debt ceiling negotiations violated an agreement between McCarthy and the 20 holdouts during the speaker’s race, although multiple members declined to say how it did. In addition to the formal rules package, which included extensive concessions to the holdouts, McCarthy, Roy, and others reportedly negotiated another agreement. That deal has not been made public, although Roy said it included a promise “that nothing would pass Rules Committee without AT LEAST 7 GOP votes – AND that the Committee would not allow reporting out rules without unanimous Republican votes.”
The Rules Committee is scheduled to vote on the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which would raise the debt ceiling into January 2025, later Tuesday afternoon.