McCarthy confident debt-ceiling bill will succeed, but Republican opposition mounts

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will likely win the battle on passing a brokered debt-ceiling deal, but he’s inviting a war with farther-right elements of his own party.

Tuesday, as lawmakers in Washington continued to work over the finer details of the bill that emerged after negotiations between McCarthy and President Joe Biden, McCarthy expressed optimism that the end to the monthslong battle over how to raise the nation’s debt ceiling was drawing near.

“America knows Washington has spent too much. So this responsible debt limit agreement spends less,” McCarthy tweeted. “We’re clawing back taxpayer money that Democrats’ sent to China via the CDC ‘Global Health Fund.’”

McCarthy was also quick to tout a Congressional Budget Office estimate that the emerging spending bill would cut government spending by $2.3 trillion, something McCarthy called the “largest spending cut that Congress has ever voted for in history.”


The good news kept coming for McCarthy as, Tuesday evening, the House Rules Committee approved the terms of debate on the bill by a 7-6 vote. This means the House vote could occur as early as Wednesday evening.

But it was in that vote that McCarthy might have found his real problem, the growing likelihood that someone among the Republican House contingent could call for his job.

Reps. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) joined all four Democrats on the committee in opposition to debate rules.

During an appearance on Glenn Beck’s show, Roy called McCarthy’s bill a “complete and total sellout of everything” and said that if the bill passes, “we’re going to have to regroup and figure out the whole leadership arrangement again.”


In all likelihood, the bill will pass the House and Senate. While Democrats are currently balking at the idea of allowing McCarthy a win, there’s still the matter of protecting the interests of the president.

Enough Democrats will almost certainly be available in the House to overcome all but a full mutiny by the right.

Once in the Senate, where Republican power players like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) are already on board, as is Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the bill is likely to sail to passage.

Romney previously tweeted that the proposed bill “is good for the country in that it prevents a default and subsequent financial meltdown, while also limiting spending,” while McConnell and Schumer have joined in calling for a swift passage in the House.

“Frankly, you’re gonna make things worse, and my Democratic colleagues know it,” Roy said during a press conference while flanked by fellow House Freedom Caucus members. “That’s why they’re supporting it. That’s why they’re going around gleeful. There’s a reason our Democratic colleagues support this. There’s a reason that Mitt Romney supports this … It’s all the same stuff.”


If Roy is willing to consider pushing for a change in House leadership, North Carolina Republican Rep. Dan Bishop might be past the point of no return.

At the same Freedom Caucus press conference at which Roy made his Romney comment, Bishop was the lone lawmaker to raise his hand as willing to make a motion to fire McCarthy.

“I think it’s got to be done,” Bishop said. He stopped short, however, of promising to make such a motion.

“I’ll decide that in conjunction with others,” Bishop said.

Bishop, like his Freedom Caucus counterparts, has made the media rounds to decry McCarthy’s efforts as having led to a major win for the Biden administration and loss for the American taxpayer.

“It wasn’t even asked for by the Democrats,” Bishop said during an appearance on Fox News. “That’s a $4 trillion increase in debt that we just let [Biden] have and the Speaker made the call.”

Even though Bishop would be politically wise to garner support for a motion to remove McCarthy, neither he nor any other Republican in the House has to wait for a coalition.

When McCarthy gained the speakership in January, after days and more than a dozen rounds of voting, it was with a concession that any one member of the House could call for a vote to vacate the speakership.

That doesn’t mean McCarthy would be fired, but he would have to go back through the process of securing sufficient votes to keep his job.