Report: House GOP leadership rejects several proposed rule change amendments from Freedom Caucus members

Republicans may have gained control of the House in the midterm elections but they won’t enjoy a large majority and the conference is not entirely united, as there continues to be infighting among the GOP establishment and the more anti-establishment House Freedom Caucus.

Those inner squabbles boiled over recently as several proposed changes to House rules from members of the Freedom Caucus were flatly rejected by House GOP leadership, the Conservative Brief reported.

That could potentially present a problem for current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and his bid to become the next House Speaker in the coming term, as the slim GOP majority will not allow McCarthy to achieve that position if he loses the support of too many members of his own conference.

GOP leadership rejects proposed rule changes

Just the News reported Friday that the House Freedom Caucus had put forward eight proposed rule changes but saw six of them be rejected by the House GOP leadership team.

Arguably the most consequential of those rejected rule change proposals was one that would have blocked the consideration of all legislation on the House floor unless all spending bills were passed prior to the start of a new fiscal year on October 1.

Other proposed rule changes that were rejected included one that would have allowed all Republican members to participate in conference meetings, another that would have allowed certain staffers to be allowed into the conference meetings with sufficient support from other members, and still another that would have allowed committee members to choose their own chair instead of the chair being assigned by leadership.

The two proposals that were accepted included one that would bar most members of the steering committees from also serving on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s executive committee, as well as another that would end virtually all of the pandemic-related restrictions on the public on Capitol grounds that were imposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

More rule change proposals are on the way

Just the News noted that the potential for GOP infighting over what the House rules will be in the next term is not done yet, as more proposed changes from Freedom Caucus members are expected to be submitted and considered after members return from the holiday break.

One such expected proposal is the resurrection of what was known as the “Holman rule” that allows for specific federal employees to be stripped of their salary if they fail to cooperate with Congress or abide by existing laws.

Another proposal would bar the debt ceiling from being raised as part of a budget resolution without a standalone vote, while still another would do away with earmarks in legislation that set aside funding for pet projects in a member’s district.

Freedom Caucus potentially holds key to McCarthy’s future

The rejection of so many of the House Freedom Caucus’ proposed rule change amendments could spell trouble for McCarthy, as Politico Playbook reported shortly after the midterms that he will almost certainly need the support of most, if not all of the Freedom Caucus members if he wants to achieve his goal of being named House Speaker.

The outlet noted that it was a lack of support among Freedom Caucus members that undermined McCarthy’s first bid to be Speaker in 2015 following the sudden retirement of former Speaker John Boehner, who was ultimately replaced by former Speaker Paul Ryan after McCarthy declined to make certain assurances to the Freedom Caucus in exchange for their support.

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