2023-01-24 00:59:23

McCarthy hands detractors critical posts to influence legislation

By Jordain Carney

Speaker Kevin McCarthy awarded his group of detractors another powerful perch: The ability to influence nearly everything that will come to the House floor.

The California Republican announced his picks for the Rules Committee on Monday evening, and the nine GOP members on the panel will include Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), two Republicans who initially voted against McCarthy during his 15-ballot speaker fight before ultimately supporting him. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), known for being a libertarian-leaning gadfly and thorn in leaderships side, is also getting a seat.

Its a significant shift for the committee, with possibly far-reaching implications that go beyond simple procedure fights. The panel is typically packed with leadership allies and yes-men who follow party leaders directives on how and when to bring priorities to the floor. Members can shut down or allow amendment votes on legislation, a tactic to head off potential poison pills both from across the aisle and within their own ranks. However, McCarthys decision will give the House GOPs right flank the ability to put their stamp on everything from what bills advance to the full chamber to the structure of floor debates and amendments and theyre much less likely to go along with leadership.

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