Eleven members of the House Freedom Caucus voted Tuesday against a rule that would have allowed the House of Representatives to push back against potential gas stove bans, temporarily killing the legislation as payback for Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s deal to raise the debt ceiling.
The House was preparing to vote on the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act and Save Our Gas Stoves Act, which would prohibit the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Department of Energy from moving to ban gas stoves. Freedom Caucus members effectively blocked the bills when they opposed a procedural vote that would have allowed the lower chamber to move to a full vote on the legislation.
Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett, one of the Republicans who voted against the rule, told reporters that the move was retaliation for threats House leadership made against Republican Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde. Clyde has alleged that GOP leadership promised to tank his bill repealing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ regulations on pistol braces in response to his vote against a rule that brought the debt ceiling bill to the House floor. (RELATED: Rep. Andrew Clyde Says GOP Leadership Threatened Him For Opposing Debt Ceiling Hike)
“It was an issue dealing with a member who was being threatened, and it was an issue that I’ve received numerous phone calls on, and he was told if he didn’t vote a certain way last week that his bill wasn’t going to get to the floor,” Burchett said, according to Politico.
Rep. BURCHETT: “It was an issue dealing with a member who was being threatened and it was an issue that I’ve received numerous phone calls on and he was told if he didn’t vote a certain way last week that his bill wasn’t going to get to the floor.”
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) June 6, 2023
CPSC commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg in January that a nationwide gas stove ban was “on the table” if companies could not reduce the stoves’ emissions. The New York legislature banned natural gas stoves in new buildings in May, and several California cities have also attempted to do so.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus have considered removing McCarthy through a motion to vacate the chair, but are backing down from the threat. The speaker’s critics argue that his debt ceiling negotiations with President Joe Biden violated a January agreement during the 15-ballot election process that handed McCarthy the gavel.
“We’ve been lied to and we can’t trust people. They’re going to have to make a trustworthy deal again, and then we can unify and move things forward,” Republican Colorado Rep. Ken Buck told reporters.
“How can you govern if you can’t pass a rule?” he later tweeted.