A Primer: Kevin McCarthy’s Olive Branches to Conservatives

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Image,, AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has offered several proposals to House conservatives to garner their votes to make him speaker.

As the battle for speaker drags on into the third day of the new congressional term, McCarthy has made an increasing number of offers to persuade conservatives to back his bid for speaker.

On Wednesday night, McCarthy offered conservatives:

  • One member motion threshold needed to force a vote ousting a speaker, instead of five.
  • More House Freedom Caucus members on the House Rules Committee (two seats).
  • Pledges to hold votes on lawmaker term limit and border security bills.
  • Major changes to the appropriations process to prevent another omnibus bill by allowing floor amendments to be offered by any lawmaker.

The conservative activist group Club for Growth and the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a super PAC aligned with McCarthy, struck a deal to prevent CLF from weighing in on any open-seat primaries in safe Republican districts.

Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) outlined many of the concessions that McCarthy has given conservatives:

  • “Andrew Clyde’s proposal to restore public access to the Capitol”
  • “Lauren Boebert’s proposal to reduce the linkage between the NRCC and the steering committee process”
  • “Gary Palmer’s proposal to cap spending on suspension bills”
  • “Ralph Norman’s proposal to limit leadership reports and make conference more about engaging all members”
  • “Chip Roy’s proposal to provide a five-day notice for suspension votes”
  • “Dan Bishop’s proposal in privileged resolutions”
  • “Scott Perry’s proposal for additional conference meetings ahead of key votes”
  • “Bob Good’s proposal on stand alone appropriations bills”
  • “Andy Biggs’ proposal limiting suspension waivers from committees”
  • “Chip Roy’s proposal to make cosponsored amendments in order”


U.S. House of Representatives

Breitbart News’s Nick Gilbertson reported:

Among other adoptions, Davidson cited the revival of the Holman Rule and “an end to the Gephardt rule” to reign in runaway debt, as well as a new rule worked out with Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) on single subject bills that Davidson said the GOP hopes “to call the Griffith Rule.”

Additionally, he highlighted the promise of “diverse viewpoints on every committee” and a “Church-style commission” attached to the Judiciary Committee, set to be chaired by Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH), to investigate collaborations between the government and big tech to silence, persecute, or even prosecute our fellow citizens.”

McCarthy has been negotiating for months with House conservatives on several of their proposed rules reforms. On Sunday, before the speaker votes, McCarthy released a rules package containing many victories for House conservatives.

The rules package on January 2 included:

  • Directing the Jan. 6 select committee, which is not being renewed, to transfer its records to the House Administration Committee by Jan. 17.
  • Establishing a select Oversight subcommittee with up to 12 majority members and five minority members to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and make legislative recommendations to prevent future pandemics.
  • Reducing the minimum time for floor votes from five minutes to two minutes.
  • Changing the name of two committees – Oversight and Reform would be Oversight and Accountability, and Education and Labor would be Education and the Workforce.
  • Requiring each standing committee except Appropriations, Ethics and Rules to adopt an authorization and oversight plan for submission to the Oversight and House Administration Committees by March 1.
  • Directing the Ethics Committee to establish a process for members of the public to flag potential violations.
  • Requiring the speaker to establish a bipartisan task force to review House ethics rules and regulations and submit a report on recommended improvements.
  • Allowing only non-government witnesses to participate in hearings remotely, meaning government officials must testify in person.
  • Striking a rule allowing the Washington, D.C., mayor and governors of U.S. territories access to the House chamber.
  • Directing House officials to broaden the availability of documents in machine-readable formats and continue improving the electronic document repository for committee documents.
  • Establishing rules for considering various bills Republicans plan to take up in early January.

McCarthy has also promised to avoid the closed-door negotiations that led to the creation of the $1.7 trillion, 4,155-page omnibus spending bill. He said on the House floor:

I will make you this promise: this will be the last time Congress disgraces itself like this again.

In 11 days the new House Republican majority takes over. And in 11 days this same old business as usual approach is over.

Republicans will do what the Democrats have failed to do: We will pass legislation on time – and we will do it in an open and transparent manner.

McCarthy also promised that he would not consider a bill that grants amnesty to illegal aliens or pass gun control if he becomes speaker in an interview with Breitbart News’s Matthew Boyle:

Matthew Perdie / Breitbart News, Jack Knudsen / Breitbart News




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