Complete List of the Key Concessions McCarthy Reportedly
Gave to Conservatives in the House to Win the Speakership
By Joe Hoft
- Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus got commitments to be added to the Rules panel. The committee exerts tremendous power by setting the terms of debate but usually operates as a tool of the Speaker. (It traditionally has a 9:4 ratio, so the majority never loses).
- McCarthy had already agreed to a five-vote requirement to make the motion, which sets up essentially a vote of no-confidence in the Speaker, and agreed to lower it to a single lawmaker.
- McCarthy agreed to take a hard line on increasing the statutory debt limit – which Congress must lift to accommodate spending it has agreed to through appropriations.
The holdouts reportedly got a pledge to get floor votes on term limits and border security. The former in particular could drive a wedge through the conference. McCarthy himself was elected to the House in 2006.
The Conservative Leadership Fund, a PAC backed by McCarthy, brokered a deal with the Club for Growth that will impact Republicans that join the House in the future. The CLF committed to stay out of ‘open’ primaries when a lawmaker vacates a seat. That gives arch-conservatives a chance to prevail in a primary without getting pounded by leadership, which sometimes weighs in on behalf of candidates deemed more ‘electable.’
- McCarthy reportedly agreed to allow ‘open rules’ on spending measures, which could lead to lengthy debates and efforts to zero out funding for programs unpopular with Republicans.
- Another concession is a cap on discretionary spending, CNN reported. although spending levels are usually negotiated by both chambers – and get influenced by the president’s budget requests.
- Republicans are girding to take on the Biden administration, and the conservatives forced a commitment to set up a committee on the ‘weaponization’ of the DOJ. The idea had been floated as a subcommittee on the House Judiciary Committee. Its exact structure and membership were uncertain.