A handful of House Republicans joined Democrats on Tuesday in opposing two GOP bills protecting gas stoves in response to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s, R-Calif., compromise with President Joe Biden on the nation’s debt limit.
The House voted to reject the measure during a procedural vote 206 to 220, marking the first time a rule vote has failed in Congress in over two decades, NBC News reports.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus, 11 of whom voted to block the resolution after previously supporting it, spoke to the press outside the Capitol alongside conservative ally Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. The group warned that this legislation could be the first of many Republican bills they would block unless McCarthy agreed to return to their January agreement, according to The Associated Press.
“Today we took down the rule because we’re frustrated at the way this place is operating. We took a stand in January to end the era of the imperial speakership,” Gaetz said, referring to the 14 failed votes to confirm McCarthy as speaker earlier this year.
“We’re concerned that the fundamental commitments that allowed Kevin McCarthy to assume the speakership have been violated as a consequence of the debt limit deal. The answer for us is to reassert House conservatives as the appropriate coalition partner for our leadership, instead of them making common cause with Democrats,” he added.
The far-right legislators also accused GOP leaders of taking retribution against Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., claiming that leadership had told him that his bill on pistol stabilizing braces would not reach the floor this week because he voted against last week’s debt deal.
After the bipartisan compromise passed last week, Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., floated the idea of enacting a motion to vacate to remove McCarthy from the speakership and was met with support from other members of the Freedom Caucus. But some of those supported backpedaled on Tuesday, NBC News writes, citing that they have other means of exercising their power over McCarthy.
“There are many, many ways in which we all need to be together for the Republican majority to be able to function effectively,” Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., said.
Before the rule vote, however, McCarthy boasted to reporters about his ability to prevail through efforts to remove him.
“Anybody can do a motion to vacate,” he said. “I’m confident I’ll beat anyone they have.”
The 11 dissidents who voted against Tuesday’s gas stove bill were Gaetz, Bishop, Buck, Reps. Matt Rosendale of Montana, Chip Roy of Texas, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Arizona’s Eli Crane and Andy Biggs, Tennessee’s Tim Burchett, and Virginia’s Bob Good.
They were joined in their opposing vote by Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., who did so as a strategic procedural move to allow him to reintroduce the measure on the floor in the future. Prior to the vote, Scalise and Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., were seen debating with Gaetz, Burchett and Roy on the House floor in a final attempt to save the bills.
“The majority cannot function without unity,” Bishop told reporters at the Capitol. “And so to pull a pin on the grenade and roll it under the tent of Republican unity, as was done … last week in the debt ceiling package, is untenable for leadership.”
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Rep. Patrick McHenry, a McCarthy ally who assisted in debt deal negotiations, claimed that the GOP’s dissent isn’t about the House speaker but rather a part of a larger process to resolve conflict.
“Not everything is embodied in the speakership,” he said. “We have a House majority. We’re trying to resolve internal tensions within the House Republicans, and from time to time you have to have an airing within your family, and that’s what happened today.”
The Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act would have prevented the Consumer Product Safety Commission from using federal funds to impede access to gas stoves through regulations and safety guidance, while the Save Our Stoves Act would have kept the US Department of Energy from creating standards for cooking products.
Both bills, according to NBC News, were mostly “intended to send a message” and unlikely to have passed in the Senate.
about the GOP gas stove freakout