House Speaker Kevin McCarthy didn’t get the top GOP post in Congress without a fight.
After the Republican takeover in the midterm elections, it took a marathon series of votes and negotiations with the most conservative members for McCarthy to get there.
Now, it looks like the debt-ceiling fight might end up costing him the speaker’s gavel.
According to NBC News, House conservatives are considering using a parliamentary tactic to attempt to remove McCarthy over their unhappiness with the deal he has worked out with President Joe Biden.
On a conference call Monday night with fellow members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado suggested using a rule that would force a new vote for House speaker, the report said.
Buck called the potential move “the elephant in the room,” according to NBC.
In a Twitter post Monday night, Buck wrote that “we need real fiscal change in Washington. This bad deal isn’t the solution. It’s the opposite.”
— Rep. Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) May 30, 2023
Not all Republicans wanted to take a step as drastic as forcing a vote on McCarthy’s leadership, NBC News reported.
However, the report said one lawmaker, whom it did not identify, said some Republicans think the budget deal is “a complete miss.”
“I’d say there are five or more who would be sympathetic to Buck’s position,” the lawmaker said.
One of the concessions McCarthy made during the days of back-and-forth that ended with him winning the speakership in January was a provision that would allow a single member of the House to put forward a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair.
CNN reported at the time that the point was “this is significant because it would make it much easier than it is currently to trigger what is effectively a no-confidence vote in the speaker. Conservatives pushed hard for this, while moderates are worried it will weaken McCarthy’s hand.”
It’s no secret that many conservatives were unhappy with the McCarthy-Biden deal.
Almost as soon as it was announced on Saturday, some took to social media to blast the package.
In a Twitter post, Buck called it a “debt ceiling surrender” that is “completely unacceptable.”
I listened to Speaker McCarthy earlier tonight outline the deal with President Biden and I am appalled by the debt ceiling surrender.
The bottom line is that the U.S. will have $35 trillion of debt in January, 2025.
That is completely unacceptable.
— Rep. Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) May 28, 2023
Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, responded to a Twitter user’s plea to stop the bill from being passed in the House with a one-sentence statement.
“We’re going to try,” he wrote.
We’re going to try. https://t.co/0IAOQpGLoP
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) May 28, 2023
Now, Washington, and the rest of the country, will have to find out if Roy, Buck and their conservative colleagues are going to try hard enough that it will not just force the deal to crash and burn but cost Kevin McCarthy his speakership as well.