Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, warned that Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., could lose his gavel if he does not take demands from the right-wing flank of his House majority seriously as Congress faces a showdown over next year’s government spending priorities.
“McCarthy’s going to have to listen to the people on the right, or else he’s going to have to rely on the Democrats to pass this. And you know, they could do that, they did that… with the debt ceiling — more Democrats voted for the debt ceiling than Republicans — they could go down that path again,” Jackson told Steve Bannon on his “War Room” podcast this week.
“But I’m telling you, if that happens… it’s going to be detrimental to leadership in the House, if they blow off the concerns of people like myself and the Freedom Caucus, and some of the other people on the right that are making reasonable demands in this process, it’s going to be a problem.”
If the situation plays out like Jackson described, he said it would be “inevitable” for someone to call for McCarthy’s removal via a process called a motion to vacate the chair. It would trigger a House-wide vote for a new speaker.
A spokesperson for McCarthy said the speaker would not allow a “play” for Senate Democrats to “gain leverage,” but maintained a short-term continuing resolution is necessary to buy more time for House Republicans to achieve their goals.
“As the Speaker told the Conference last week, we don’t support any kind of play to jam against the holidays that would allow Senate Democrats to gain leverage, an omnibus, or a long-term continuing resolution that would lock in Democrat priorities,” the spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
“Any short-term CR would only be necessary as a way to continue working through regular order on bills that include Republican priorities to lower spending in the bureaucracy and bring necessary changes to federal policy, and refocus our military to war-fighting capabilities and defense of our nation.”
Under terms McCarthy agreed to when he won the speaker’s gavel earlier this year, it just takes one member to call for a motion to vacate.
Jackson was one of several conservatives who expressed opposition to a stopgap spending patch, known as a continuing resolution, to extend the last year’s priorities for several weeks while lawmakers cobbled together a deal for fiscal year 2024.
Most argued that it would be an endorsement of the omnibus bill passed under the previous Democrat-controlled Congress, which nearly all Republicans were against.
The Freedom Caucus recently came out against a “clean” continuing resolution. They insisted several conservative riders be added to any deal struck, including measures to stop “weaponization” of the Justice Department and FBI, rolling back “woke” military policies and passing the House GOP’s border security bill.
They’re also opposed to any further aid to Ukraine in a supplemental funding bill. President Biden recently requested $13 billion in emergency defense funding and $8 billion in humanitarian aid for Ukraine as it continues to fight Russia’s invasion.
It was part of a $40 billion supplemental funding request that also included money aimed at replenishing U.S. disaster relief funds and beefing up enforcement at the southern border.
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