Can McCarthy Follow His Own Rules? Can His Colleagues?

Salivanchuk Semen/
Salivanchuk Semen /

15 ballots, 118th Congress, and now one big task ahead of the GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker of the House.

The negotiations that took place on the House floor included provisions made in the House rules package. This is the document adopted on the front end of each Congress that sets the ground rules for how the lower chamber functions for the next two years.

What exactly was it that the Republican opposition got for their week-long resistance to business as usual for the House?

The biggest concession is a rule that allows any member of Congress to offer a privileged resolution declaring the Office of Speaker vacant. This means that any member can call a vote to remove Speaker McCarthy from his position.

Another change in the ground rules “replaces current ‘pay-as-you-go’ requirements to reduce federal spending with ‘cut-as-you-go’ requirements.”
This change comes as a provision to cap spending at 2022 levels that “prohibits consideration of a bill, joint resolution, conference report, or amendment that has the net effect of increasing mandatory spending within a five-year or ten-year budget window.”

The new rules package also includes an order of business providing for consideration of a bill focused on the development of a plan to increase oil and gas production under oil and gas leases of Federal lands.

Some other rule changes include rescinding certain balances made available to the Internal Revenue Service, authorization of the Secretary of Homeland Security to suspend the entry of aliens, prohibiting the Secretary of Energy from sending petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China, amending the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, requiring the national criminal background check system to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement a person illegally or unlawfully in the United States may be attempting to receive a firearm, and prohibiting funded abortions.

Democrats are unwilling to help McCarthy, so the task is a big one.