Washington — A group of conservative Republican lawmakers is throwing a wrench in Speaker Kevin McCarthy's plans in the House in retaliation for his deal with President Biden to suspend the debt ceiling, delaying business on the floor for the second straight day.
On Tuesday, 11 House Freedom Caucus members and allies blocked a procedural measure — known as a House rule, which sets ground rules for legislative debate — on. The vote's failure blindsided GOP leadership. The last time a rule failed in the House was in 2002.
The standoff carried into Wednesday and comes as House Freedom Caucus members have floated trying toover the debt ceiling deal.
"House Leadership couldn't Hold the line," Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida tweeted. "Now we Hold the Floor."
Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado echoed him in her own tweet: "HOLD THE FLOOR!"
McCarthy said that his "intention" was to hold votes Wednesday and that leadership and conservatives are "talking through it." But he said later Wednesday that he was sending members home until Monday and his goal was to work things out "by the end of the night."
"I can't believe someone would want to hold up not allowing people to pick their own oven or stove they'd like to have," he said.
Conservative members were angry about the debt ceiling deal and "perceived broken promises" that were made while McCarthy sought the speakership in January, Majority Leader Steve Scalise said. They were also upset that legislation on a rule about pistol braces championed by Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia hadn't been brought up for a vote. Scalise said it doesn't yet have enough support to pass and he plans on bringing it to the floor soon.
"There's been a lot of conversations and there's going to be more," Scalise said. "We've still got more work to do."
When asked by reporters whether McCarthy's position as speaker was safe, Scalise answered yes. McCarthy later gave them the same answer when asked how confident he was in his ability to hold the speakership for the remainder of the session.
Keshia Butts, Ellis Kim and Nikole Killion contributed reporting.
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