By Jack Phillips
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Sunday that he expects Republicans can pass a House rules package that was changed during negotiations from holdouts during the election for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last week.
“I think we’ll get the 218 votes we need to pass the rules package,” Jordan told “Fox News Sunday.” “What this rules package is designed to do is to stop what we saw happen literally 15 days ago when the Democrats passed a $1.7 trillion monstrosity of a bill.”
During the election, McCarthy had to make concessions from a group of about 20 Republicans until he was elected during the early morning hours of Saturday—after 15 rounds of voting. Some of the rule changes include lowering the threshold for a lawmaker to issue a motion to vacate, allowing members to oust the House speaker, as well as allowing a vote to allow term limits on members of the House.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did away with the “vacate the chair” rule when Democrats regained the majority in 2019.
“If a CEO is not doing the job, you can fire him—same thing in politics,” said Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), one of the holdouts McCarthy won over with the rules changes.
McCarthy also committed to spending cuts, including slashing spending on defense. Congress faces an agenda of must-pass bills to fund the government, restock a military whose supplies have been depleted by military aid to Ukraine as well as decades of war, authorize farming programs, and raise the nation’s borrowing limit to avert a federal default.
“We got a $32 trillion debt, everything has to be on the table,” Jordan said during Sunday’s interview. “When you’ve got numbers like that … frankly, we better look at the money we send to Ukraine as well.”
During the final vote, the tally was 216–212 with Democrats voting for Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and six Republican holdouts to McCarthy simply voting present.
“Let’s remember that a little temporary conflict is necessary in this town in order to stop this town from rolling over the American people,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who was one of the holdouts, told CNN on Sunday. Roy dismissed tensions that erupted during the 15 rounds of voting, which culminated in Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) being restrained after he appeared to lunge at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of the holdouts.
“I don’t think anybody, on either side of the aisle, could say with a straight face that they think that Washington is doing good work for the American people on a regular basis and isn’t broken. We have to work to fix this place,” Roy added. During the voting, Roy ultimately backed McCarthy after nominating Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.).
Amid the fracas last week, Roy added that “some of the tensions you saw on display … we need a little of that. We need a little of this sort of breaking the glass in order to get us to the table, in order to get us to fight for the American people and to change the way this place is dysfunctional.”
“This isn’t just a shirts-and-skins, red-and-blue, you know, two-team thing. This is history … two-party entrenchment has made it so we don’t have a good back-and-forth to sit at the table and try to accomplish things,” the lawmaker said.
What McCarthy Said
As McCarthy took the gavel on Saturday morning, he promised to carry out a conservative agenda and tackle the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, cutting back on funding the Internal Revenue Service, and fixing left-wing indoctrination in schools. Long-term challenges like U.S. debt and the rise of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) must also be addressed, McCarthy said.
“No more ignoring this crisis of safety and sovereignty,” he said. “We must secure our border.”
President Joe Biden issued a statement congratulating McCarthy on his election as speaker at around 1 a.m. ET on Saturday.
“Jill and I congratulate Kevin McCarthy on his election as Speaker of the House,” Biden remarked. “I am prepared to work with Republicans when I can and voters made clear that they expect Republicans to be prepared to work with me as well,” he added.