WASHINGTON, D.C. – Before congressional members took a two-week recess, the House was dealing with an unusual situation. A handful of far-right republican members stalled legislation from their own party moving forward. We spoke with a republican congressional member on this and what’s at stake if this intraparty fighting happens again.
It was an unusual display of power from a handful of ultraconservative republicans on the House floor in early June. About a dozen members in the House Freedom Caucus were voting against a procedural rule to keep republican-sponsored legislation from a full House vote. All because they were enraged with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s compromise with President Biden on the debt ceiling.
“There are numerous things they’re frustrated about,” said Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R- CA). “We’ll listen to them we’ll solve them just like everything there’s a little chaos.”
Since republicans were holding their own party hostage by not having enough votes to move forward with legislation, the House had to postpone votes. While this mutiny only lasted a couple of days and the House began legislating the week after, another power move like this one could complicate major appropriation legislation later down the road that congress must agree on. Legislation like the Farm Bill or US military programs. We asked republican Representative Mike Kelly (R- PA) his thoughts on the brief intraparty fight.
“I am confident that it will happen again,” said Rep. Kelly. “There are tools people can use that can hold up different decisions being made.”
Kelly called this a distraction.
“I think to the people back home outside of Washington, DC in the real world, I think they watch this and its annoying,” said Rep. Kelly. “So this process can be annoying at times but at the end of the day there’s no place else in the world where you can do this. So we have to champion that but we have to say its time to move on, get things done for the people we represent.”