The House resumed legislative work on Tuesday after hard-line conservatives broke a deadlock that had halted floor action for a week.
The bill to advance the bills was passed 218-209 along party lines, opening debate and giving the final vote on the measures, including gas stoves, regulatory reform and the gun stabilization bracket.
It marked the first vote in the House since last Tuesday, when 11 conservatives voted against separate legislation to advance the bills to the floor — a stunning rebellion against GOP leadership that was enough to skip the rule and stall action in the chamber for days.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) opposed President Biden’s opposition to a debt ceiling deal earlier this month to avoid an economy-crippling shutdown.
The standoff broke Monday night as Republican rebels said they would end the land freeze — at least for the time being — and continued to talk with McCarthy about ways to give the administration more power and manage future deficit spending. Financial assistance packages. They announced this in a conversation with the Speaker.
“This is what everyone understands: the devolution deal we signed with Speaker McCarthy in January must be renegotiated,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said as he left McCarthy’s office. “He understands that. We understand that. And so that what happened on the debt limit vote doesn’t happen again, he needs to renegotiate so that House conservatives remain a less desirable coalition partner than Democrats.”
But on Tuesday, McCarthy appeared to disagree with Gaetz’s behavior, telling reporters, “I’m not aware of any power-sharing agreement that came out of yesterday’s meeting.”
He added: “If someone wants to make a certain agreement, it is with the whole assembly.”
Another source of frustration among conservative rebels is how the GOP leadership has handled legislation dealing with gun restraints.
Last week, the sponsor of the gun brace bill, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), threatened leadership to prevent the bill from coming to the floor if he didn’t support a debt proceeding vote. Limit the bill, which was finally opposed. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) later told reporters that the bill does not yet have the votes to pass it, but that he is working to drum up support.
The bill would prevent the Biden administration from implementing a law that would have classified a handgun as a short-barreled rifle if it had a stabilizer strap attached.
Tuesday’s rule vote moved the measure to the floor for debate and a final vote — part of the reason the conservatives regretted their opposition, Gaetz said.
“One of the reasons we’re here is because the gun control legislation was treated as a form of revenge and retaliation,” he told reporters after meeting with McCarthy on Monday. “One of the most positive and productive aspects of our negotiations was that we were able to free up gun control legislation.”
In addition to Clyde’s Law, Tuesday’s legislative vote included two bills to prevent the device ban and two others related to regulatory reform.
As the House continued its work on Tuesday, Gaetz indicated on Monday that if McCarthy did not meet their demands, the conservatives could start another rebellion on the floor.
“There will be more votes and more legislation next week, and if there isn’t a renegotiated power-sharing deal, we’ll be back here next week,” Gaetz said. That is not our goal; Our goal is to continue the dialogue process that we have done now.
Emily Brooks contributed.
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