(NewsNation) — Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., had to make a series of concessions to the far right flank of his party in order to win their votes to become speaker.
What concessions did he make? What price did he pay for their votes?
It boils down to this: Mccarthy gave up a lot of the power that typically comes with being the speaker and handed it back to his rank and file members.
Most notably, he agreed to a rule that allows just one member to force a vote to remove the speaker of the House at any time. It makes McCarthy vulnerable and puts a serious check on his own authority.
Another new rule says if Congress raises the debt limit, which will be necessary to avoid a government shutdown, it must be accompanied by a mandatory spending cut to entitlement programs, like Medicare or Medicaid.
In addition, some of these hardline Republicans demanded certain committee chairmanships in exchange for their votes.
It’s also being reported Mccarthy agreed to support capping government spending in 2024, at 2022 levels, which would mean a roughly $75 billion cut to military and defense spending.
Now, the house will have to vote to approve this rules package, and it’s not entirely clear whether it will pass. Plenty of republicans will have a hard time swallowing major cuts to defense/military spending, or the rule remove a speaker.
“How am I going to look at our allies in the eye and say, I need you to increase your defense budget,” said Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, “But yet America is going to decrease ours.”
Gonzales speaks for others as well.
There were other rules Mccarthy agreed to which were less controversial. Most republicans support posting a bill 72 hours before voting on it and allowing any member to propose amendments to any bill on the house floor.