Tag: chip roy
Chip Roy

Republicans Sink Defense Spending Bill As Shutdown Deadline Approaches

Republicans in the United States House of Representatives on Wednesday "failed to move forward on a procedural vote advancing a bill to fund the Defense Department after it became clear they did not have enough votes to secure its passage," adding to concerns that Congress will miss the September 30th deadline to fund the federal government and prevent a shutdown, The Washington Post's Mariama Sotomayor reports.

The latest impasse "offered an example of just how difficult it will be for [House Speaker Kevin] McCarthy (R-CA) and the ideologically fractured Republican majority to find consensus, keep the government open, and avert blame if a shutdown is triggered," Sotomayor explains.

"A handful of staunchly conservative lawmakers announced they would not vote to move the defense funding bill forward because of an unmet demand they made of leadership months ago," Sotomayor writes. "Several members of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus said they have yet to receive a top-line number for how much all 12 appropriations bills would cost once passed, and where offsets to curtail spending would be made across the 11 proposals the House has yet to consider on the floor."

Sotomayor continues, "The House Appropriations Committee already has not been able to overcome competing demands between moderate and far-right Republicans on the labor and justice appropriation bills, which have historically been the most controversial proposals to complete. As a result, fulfilling the Freedom Caucus' demands — including passing all 12 appropriation bills individually — may be impossible."

Sotomayor notes that "it remains unclear when the House will consider the defense funding bill — or any appropriation bill. Given the myriad requests and leadership's inability thus far to provide a top-line budget number, lawmakers had little insight into how Republicans break themselves from the logjam before the House leaves Washington for the weekend Thursday."

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a member of the right-wing Freedom Caucus, said that "there currently is not an appetite to just, I would call it, blindly move forward with any one piece of the puzzle until we can actually look at the picture of the puzzle that we’re actually trying to assemble. I have no interest in grabbing a piece and just sticking it on a board and hoping."

Sotomayor adds that "several absences within the conference — including Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is battling cancer — are making the math tricky for Republicans. Complicating it further is the expected retirement of Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) later this week, which will bring the Republicans' already razor-thin majority down to four. His replacement, generally expected to be a Republican, would not arrive in the House until late November."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Freedom Caucus Still Whining About Speaker McCarthy's 'Broken Promises'

Freedom Caucus Still Whining About Speaker McCarthy's 'Broken Promises'

Members of the House Freedom Caucus are still seething at Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for coming to an agreement with President Joe Biden that avoided a catastrophic default. They insist he broke promises made in order to secure that final, 15th round of balloting that put him in the speaker’s chair—promises McCarthy and his team insist didn’t happen.

The Freedom Caucus swear that McCarthy promised he would never let a bill pass with more Democratic votes than Republican. The debt ceiling agreement passed with 165 Democratic votes, and 149 from Republicans. “We were told they’d never put a bill on the floor that would take more Democrats than Rs to pass it. We were told that,” Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona whined last week. Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Ralph Norman of South Carolina, who extracted coveted seats on the powerful Rules Committee in their deal-making with McCarthy, also insist he promised them nothing would be allowed out of that committee and onto the floor unless it had the unanimous vote of all nine Republicans.

The rest of the Rules Committee and McCarthy’s team deny that he ever made those promises, and there isn’t any public evidence that he did. There is, however, that unresolved mystery of the secret documents that plenty of people said they saw circulating during that chaotic week in January, when McCarthy was wheeling and dealing his way to the gavel. Plenty of rank-and-file Republicans believed at the time that the secret addendum to the rules package governing this session existed, and felt sold out.

There is one promise that he’s not denying, and this one is most dangerous for the future stability of the government: McCarthy reportedly told the Freedom Caucus that he would roll back funding for the 2024 fiscal year to 2022 levels. Colorado Rep. Ken Buck repeated that claim on CNN last weekend. “He promised when he was running for speaker that we would use the 2022 baseline numbers as the appropriation numbers for this year, and then went back on that promise with this particular legislation, where he promised and signed into law the 2023 numbers.”

The danger in this claim, which again McCarthy isn’t denying, is in those 12 spending bills that Congress has to agree to before Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown and/or a one percent across-the-board cut to everything starting in January. The topline spending for the next fiscal year was set in this debt ceiling agreement at nearly $1.6 trillion. Where Biden and the Democrats are looking at that as $1.6 trillion in guaranteed spending, the Freedom Caucus and Republicans could very well be looking at that as a cap, with the intention of spending much less.

McCarthy, maybe in a bid to recapture the hearts and minds of the Freedom Caucus, hinted at spending fights to come in the next few months, including getting all the “wokeness” out of government. No. Really.

There’s no denying that members of the Freedom Caucus were the biggest losers in the debt ceiling agreement, but they could still regroup to make that appropriations process impossible and threaten a government shutdown if they don’t see the cuts they say McCarthy promised them. The ultimate threat they have over McCarthy—the motion to vacate the chair and boot him—completely fizzled out this time around. It does, however, still exist as a possibility, and the fight over the 12 appropriations bills is a likely place for it to bubble up again.

One of the negotiators in the debt ceiling deal for McCarthy, Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves, acknowledged that threat on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday. "I'm not ruling out anything. It depends on how reasonable each side is, obviously, in the negotiations. It's very difficult to predict.”

Between now and October 1, when the new funding agreement has to kick in, the House is scheduled to work a grand total of 36 days. That’s subject to change—they can always cancel recess and work.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Chip Roy

Squabbling Erupts Among House Republicans Over Debt Deal Process

The House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday on the deal that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) struck over the weekend to raise the debt ceiling. But first, the proposal must make it through the Republican-dominated Rules Committee.

Despite the urgency, House Republicans are apparently squabbling over procedural matters.

Rules Committee member Chip Roy (R-TX) — who opposes the Biden-McCarthy agreement — tweeted on Monday afternoon that "during Speaker negotiations to build the coalition, that it was explicit both that nothing would pass Rules Committee without AT LEAST 7 GOP votes - AND that the Committee would not allow reporting out rules without unanimous Republican votes."

But one of Roy's colleagues disputed his recollection of events in a statement to CNN producer Morgan Rimmer.

According to Rimmer, Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) told her that "if those conversations took place, the rest of the conference was unaware of them. And frankly, I doubt them. I haven't talked to the speaker about them yet today, but I would be a little surprised if that was a kind of a commitment."

CBS News reported on Monday that "the House Rules Committee will hold a hearing at 3 p.m. Tuesday, which will determine the rules and length of time for debating the bill and any amendments that would be allowed."

According to Reuters, "The agreement would suspend the debt limit through Jan. 1 of 2025, cap spending in the 2024 and 2025 budgets, claw back unused COVID funds, speed up the permitting process for some energy projects, and include extra work requirements for food aid programs for poor Americans. The 99-page bill would authorize more than $886 billion for security spending in fiscal year 2024 and over $703 billion in non-security spending for the same year, not including some adjustments. It would also authorize a 1% increase for security spending in fiscal year 2025."

Although CBS noted that the measure is likely to pass with bipartisan support, dissent within the GOP may hamper McCarthy's pledge to send the legislation to the Senate this week.

Any unforeseen snags increase the risks of the Treasury Department running out of money, which Secretary Janet Yellen has repeatedly warned could occur in early June.

"Once the bill reaches the Senate, where Democrats have the majority, the pace of action will largely depend on whether any senators try to hold up the bill, possibly with amendment votes. That could tie up the legislation for a few days," CBS explained.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Chip Roy

Freedom Caucus 'Preparing For Battle' With McCarthy Over Debt Ceiling

Barely Speaker Kevin McCarthy went to Wall Street Monday, where he celebrated the first 100 days of this session and talked about the great things united House Republicans were going to achieve for the nation by making life as difficult as possible for the working poor. That might be the only thing that McCarthy’s fractious caucus can rally behind, however. Those cracks just keep getting wider, and the Freedom Caucus is prepared to blow it all up.

McCarthy followed up on that speech in the weekly closed-door meeting of Republicans Tuesday, presenting to them what he wants to finally take to the table in negotiating a debt limit increase.

Meanwhile, the head of the Freedom Caucus, Texas Rep. Chip Roy, has been talking himself up to The Wall Street Journal, previewing how he is planning to continue to make McCarthy’s life hell. Journal reporter shadowed Roy last week, documenting how he is “preparing for battle” over the debt ceiling.

“The fight’s just begun—the speaker’s fight was a preview,” Roy told a group of Kerr County Republicans last week. “I’m not there to get second place. I’m there to win,” He reiterated that to the Kerr County Chamber of Commerce in another speech. “If you think it was hot then, the debt-ceiling fight is going to get a lot hotter.”

Just to make his point clear, he later told the Journal: “You’re going to lose right-flank support if you don’t have upfront, first-year cuts.” He laid down his line in the sand. “The debt ceiling is not going to be clean, and it’s not going to be one simple thing attached to it.”

McCarthy’s proposal on the debt ceiling includes lots of cuts, a handful of repeals of President Joe Biden’s initiatives, and making all the working people who receive Medicaid and food stamp assistance prove that they are working. He reportedly doesn’t want to include some of the things the maniacs have been yelling about the loudest, like repealing the new IRS funding.

That’s not going to go over well with the Freedom Caucus crowd, only four of whom McCarthy can afford to lose. He needs 218 votes and he’s not going to be getting them from any Democrats. There are already two Republicans who have told reporters that they won’t help McCarthy raise the debt ceiling, period.

All that’s to remind McCarthy that he only holds the speaker’s gavel because Roy and team let him have it. And he’s increasingly growing short of allies. That’s McCarthy’s own fault since he’s been trash talking about his leadership team to anyone in the House who would listen. Despite his big talk, he’s not been able to pull the conference together on the big legislative agenda he promised for the first 100 days. It’s taken this long for him to even come up with an outline for a proposal on the debt ceiling.

All this is creating “skepticism,” “distrust,” and “growing rancor” in McCarthy’s gang, The Washington Post reports. And they have the receipts. “Everybody is going to be looking at each other much more suspiciously now,” an anonymous GOP told the Post. “It’s going to be much harder to do things.”

Still, members who spoke to the Post tried valiantly to put a happy face on the situation. Like Majority Whip Tom Emmer, whose job it is to try to get 218 votes on anything from a group of people he admits “despise each other.”

“You may not want this person to get anything, and you are so sick and tired of this person taking everything,” Emmer told the Post. “Our job is to make sure that at the end of the day, both of them walk away from the table and go, ‘Yep, I did the job I had to do for the people at home.’” That’s an aspirational idea more than actual practice at this point, since they haven’t really been able to get any job done.

And how are the negotiations going? Roy is trashing his colleagues on the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, which has been trying to figure out how to get a debt ceiling bill on the floor that could cobble enough votes from both parties to pass. Roy is having none of that.

“If these sons-of-bitches want to try to end-run us, game on,” Roy said. So he’s nice.

Then there’s the question of whether the majority of these Republicans, McCarthy included, actually want to solve the immediate debt ceiling problem or whether they’re actively trying to crash the economy so they can blame it on Biden in 2024.

Consider this quote from a supposed “moderate” in the conference: “I have said this all along,” said GOP Ohio Rep. David Joyce. “It boils down to trust. Eventually, we’re going to have to hold hands and jump off the cliff together and trust each other that we’re going to get to the bottom.”

Going off the cliff is most definitely not the objective for any serious lawmaker. Getting to the bottom is only the goal of people who want to blow it all up.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.