House Conservatives Stage Mini-Revolt, Block GOP Bills

June 7, 2023

Conservative House Republicans, led by the Freedom Caucus, staged a mini-revolt in the chamber Tuesday, blocking several GOP-led bills from passage.

The move was in retaliation against Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) having brokered with President Biden, then pushed for passage last week, the “Fiscal Responsibility Act,” suspending the debt ceiling until 2025 in exchange for spending cuts.

“I think we have some unresolved issues from last week,” said Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who leads the Freedom Caucus but did not join in the revolt himself.

A group of 11 conservative House Republicans broke with their party on an otherwise procedural vote that threw the House’s schedule into disarray—likely for the rest of the week. It was the first such procedural vote to fail in nearly two decades. 

“We’re frustrated with the way this place is operating,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). “We’re not going to live in the era of the imperial speaker anymore.”

Gaetz was one of the GOP lawmakers who held up McCarthy’s securing the Speakership in January through 15 votes, and Gaetz never did vote in favor of McCarthy; he voted “present” in the final round of ballots.

Among the bills that failed to pass was legislation that would have protected gas stoves from potential government bans—which has been a pet issue for the GOP for months, asserting that any such bans would be government overreach.

Among other legislation now stalled is a deregulatory bill that had been touted by Republicans.

GOP leadership is working with just a four-seat majority, which gives a small group of lawmakers considerable power to gain concessions from McCarthy.

Conservative Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) told reporters Tuesday that “there’s no decision” made yet by McCarthy’s critics on the right on whether to force a vote ousting the Speaker.

“But the problem that has been precipitated entirely by the Speaker’s approach to the debt ceiling is going to have to be dealt with,” he added.

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