House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other GOP congressional leaders attempted to portray the recent negotiation with President Joe Biden as a success that resulted in a pathway to raising the debt ceiling while securing some meaningful spending cuts in the process.
McCarthy claimed that the bipartisan deal resulted in “the largest cut” that lawmakers have ever approved — but the Washington Post’s fact-checker gave the remark “three Pinocchios” due to the fact that various loopholes included in the framework provided plenty of opportunity to violate the agreement.
Even the House Financial Services Committee’s effort to amplify statements of support for the deal included acknowledgments that the spending cuts were rather anemic.
For example, former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney could only muster enough support to call it a “minor miracle” that the two sides agreed on a deal.
He noted that “there will actually be some spending reductions” as a result, but provided a significant caveat.
“Not large reductions, by any measure,” Mulvaney added. “But some. There are also some policy reforms as well. Not a lot, but some. There is even some COVID money clawed back. Not as much as some Republicans would have liked, but some.”
A number of House Republicans who reluctantly supported McCarthy’s bid to become speaker earlier this year were more direct in their criticism of the agreement.
There has been some chatter among conservative lawmakers about a possible vote to vacate, which would oust McCarthy from the leadership position. While that has not yet materialized, members of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus made a statement by joining with Democrats to defeat a measure that would protect the right of Americans to own gas stoves.
"The resolution is not adopted."
The House voted against the rule on bills blocking gas stove regulations and changing the federal rule-making process, 206-220.
12 Republicans voted NAY.
This is the first Rule vote to fail in the 118th Congress. pic.twitter.com/9h0D9GKKiR
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 6, 2023
The Biden administration has hinted that such appliances could be heavily regulated or even banned due to their supposed environmental impact. While conservatives overwhelmingly oppose such a move, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) explained why he and others tanked a bill aimed at preventing it.
“Today, we took down the rule because we’re frustrated at the way this place is operating,” he said.
Gaetz went on to reference McCarthy’s tumultuous rise to speaker, noting: “We took a stand in January to end the era of the imperial speakership. 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.”
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) similarly accused McCarthy of violating the promises that he made to conservatives in order to secure their support.
“We had an agreement that had been forged by all of us together, and it was utterly jettisoned unilaterally by the speaker. And there’s been nothing so far to address the consequences of that,” he concluded.