GOP conservatives shutter House to protest McCarthy-Biden debt deal, setting up next budget brawl

2023-06-07 21:04:20  • 5 mins

WASHINGTON In fallout from the debt ceiling deal, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is suddenly confronting a new threat to his power as angry hard-right conservatives bring the House chamber to a halt, reviving their displeasure over the compromise struck with President Joe Biden and demanding deeper spending cuts ahead.

Barely a dozen Republicans, mainly members of the House Freedom Caucus, shuttered House business for a second day Thursday in protest of McCarthys leadership. Routine votes could not be taken, and a pair of pro-gas stove bills important to GOP activists stalled out. Some lawmakers asked if they could simply go home.

McCarthy brushed off the disruption as healthy political debate, part of his risk taker way of being a leader not too different, he said, from the 15-vote spectacle it took in January for him to finally convince his colleagues to elect him as speaker. With a paper-thin GOP majority, any few Republicans have outsized sway.

But the aftermath of the debt ceiling deal is coming into focus: The hard-right flank that helped put the speaker in power five months ago is not done with McCarthy yet.

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