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Speaker of the House in Peril: Potential Vote to Oust McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy had struggled to garner enough votes to become speaker of the House earlier this year. The reason for his struggle was opposition from the House Freedom Caucus. Numerous members held up the vote with various votes for other individuals to become Speaker of the House. To finally cross the line on the fifteenth vote, McCarthy had made a deal with the Caucus. An aspect of this deal was establishing that only one member of the Republican party could force a vote to remove McCarthy. Recently, multiple members of the Freedom Caucus came out against the debt ceiling agreement that McCarthy had worked out with the Biden Administration.

The Debt Ceiling Agreement

The debt ceiling agreement contained numerous wants of the Republican party. More work requirements for food stamps. Alterations to the National Environmental Policy Act, an act that requires agencies to evaluate the environmental effects of actions before taking them. The agreement would reduce spending on Covid relief and IRS spending. In exchange for the debt ceiling being lifted until January 2025.

Issues in the House

The Freedom Caucus feels the compromises do not justify giving the Biden Administration a lifted debt ceiling. The Freedom Caucus are not alone, on the other side of the aisle. The Progressive Caucus leader Pramila Jayapal told the White House and Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies that there should be worried. Progressives may not vote for this deal, feeling that the Republicans had won in taking the country hostage.

The agreement is likely to pass the House as the New Democrat caucus, the moderate (centrist) wing of the Democrats in the House voiced support for the agreement. However, the biggest part of the agreement will be a vote against Kevin McCarthy as Speaker is likely to happen. If just ten members of the Freedom Caucus vote to remove McCarthy, with assistance from Democrats, McCarthy could be ousted from the Speaker position.

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