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McCarthy to Pass House Rules

Government

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy holds the speaker's gavel high after winning the election as speaker of the House early Saturday morning | Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images

After a historic 15 rounds of voting, Republican Kevin McCarthy is now the speaker of the House, and his next task will be to pass a package of House rules.

In order to win the speakership, McCarthy (R-CA) made several concessions to a group of 20 Republicans who refused to vote for him until their demands were met.

The concessions included allowing any single legislator to call for a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair.

Also, per McCarthy’s concessions, the House will hold votes on a balanced budget amendment and bills for congressional term limits and border security.

Additionally, the conservative Freedom Caucus will now have more representation on committees, including the House Rules Committee, where bills are reviewed before being sent to the floor.

This week, at least some of those concessions will be enshrined in writing when legislators vote on the package of rules that will govern how the House of Representatives operates in the 118th Congress.

House Democrats are expected to be entirely against the package, but even some Republicans have expressed resistance to it.

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) has vocally opposed the proposed rules, saying it would result in less defense spending and extremist legislation on issues like immigration.

McCarthy supporter Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said that while she likes the package, she is “on the fence.”

“I like the rules package,” she said. “What I don’t support is the small number of people trying to get a deal done or deals done for themselves in private, in secret.”

However, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said he believes the rules package has enough support from House Republicans to pass. He said the agreements would reduce unbridled government spending and ensure broader representation on House committees.

“I think we’ll get the 218 votes needed to pass the rules package,” he said.

Jordan is a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and is expected to chair the House Judiciary Committee. He received several votes for speaker from the group of Republicans who opposed McCarthy.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), who received the majority of non-McCarthy Republican votes over 15 rounds, announced on Sunday that he had secured a seat on the House Republican Steering Committee in exchange for throwing his support behind McCarthy. The steering committee oversees the appointment of Republicans to other House committees, exerting substantial influence over the workings of the chamber.

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