GOP Hardliners Revolt Against McCarthy’s Leadership As Gaetz Vows to Fight to End the ‘Imperial Speakership’


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) suffered a blow to his leadership on Tuesday from within his own party as a dozen hard-right GOP House members voted down a rule to bring a set of Republican-backed bills to the House floor for debate.

The revolt against McCarthy’s leadership was led by House Freedom Caucus members like Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Ken Buck (R-CO), who later told reporters McCarthy is not living up to the promises he made to become speaker back in January.

CNN’s Jake Tapper reported on the congressional fireworks Tuesday, noting it was the “first time in more than two decades, the House of Representatives voted down a rule.”

Tapper brought in CNN Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju to discuss the developments. “So, Manu, the folks out there might not understand this, voting down the rule and the significance of it, but it’s really a warning shot across the bow to Kevin McCarthy, ‘Hey, bud, we don’t like what you did to us and we can bring down legislation if you if you don’t listen to us.’”

“Yeah, this is the first time this bloc of hardliners has really tried to flex their muscle in the narrowly divided House. And they can do just that. They can derail the Republican agenda. If more than four Republicans vote against any bill that moves along party lines. And they just did that on a key procedural vote,” Raju explained.

“In this case, more than five of them, in fact, a dozen of them voted against this, effectively scuttling the Republican leadership effort to push through a couple of bills this week, all forcing Republican leaders to scramble and also causing Republicans, conservatives to warn that they may use this power next time to continue to derail the speaker’s plans,” Raju concluded.

CNN then played a clip of Gaetz speaking from earlier in the day on the steps of Capitol Hill. “Yeah. Today we took down the rule because we’re frustrated at the way this place is operating. You know, 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,” the Florida Republican raged.

Raju then asked Buck what McCarthy can do to regain control.

“He has to abide by the agreements that he made at the beginning of this Congress. When he was elected speaker. He made promises. We want him to abide by those promises,” Buck replied.

“So what the congressmen were talking about there was the deal that the speaker cut in order to become the speaker back in January, on the 15th ballot. Remember, a number of those deals that he cut actually were never written down, never publicly released, but they were verbal commitments. And some of them believe that the speaker needed to, agreed to cut spending even further. And they, saying that he could have violated some of the other commitments when it came to raising the national debt limit,” Raju concluded.

Watch the full clip above via CNN.

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Alex Griffing is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Send tips via email: Follow him on Twitter: @alexgriffing