House Republican leadership could hold another vote to advance legislation Wednesday after an extraordinary conservative revolt blocked the bills from moving to the floor one day earlier — but it is still unclear if there is enough support to move the measures forward.
The House is scheduled to vote on a rule to advance four bills related to gas stoves and regulatory reform at 12:20 p.m., according to the office of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.).
But it is possible that leadership pulls the vote if the conservative impasse does not break in time. Asked Wednesday morning if the House would vote that day, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) said: “I don’t know, we’ll find out.”
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday morning he was “hopeful” when asked about a potential vote that day, but conservative anger over the debt limit compromise bill that passed last week was still apparent.
“House Leadership couldn’t Hold the Line,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of the conservatives who opposed the rule, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning. “Now we Hold the Floor.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who also opposed the rule, retweeted Gaetz and added, “HOLD THE FLOOR!”
The vote is scheduled to take place less than 24 hours after 11 conservative lawmakers — most of who are members of the House Freedom Caucus — opposed that same rule, a rare move for members of the majority party that was done in retaliation for the debt limit deal McCarthy cut with President Biden that was signed into law over the weekend.
That opposition was enough to tank the rule, blocking the legislation from moving to the floor for a vote and delivering an embarrassing rebuke to McCarthy. It was the first time since 2002 that a rule vote failed on the floor.
Because of the slim majority in the House, GOP leadership can only afford to lose a handful of members on partisan votes.
Conservatives have been up in arms about the level of spending cuts and lack of GOP priorities in the bill, pointing out the differences between the McCarthy-Biden agreement and the measure House Republicans passed in April.
Tuesday’s protest made for a stunning scene on the House floor, where Scalise and Emmer huddled with more than a dozen conservatives in the back of the chamber in a tense effort to get them to flip their positions.
Part of the conservative fury stemmed from Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) alleging that GOP leadership threatened to keep his bill from coming to the floor if he voted against the rule for the debt limit bill last week. Scalise said Tuesday morning that he had discussed with Clyde that his bill to repeal a federal rule banning pistol braces did not yet have the support to pass in the House.
Moments before the vote closed, Scalise joined the conservatives in opposing the rule, a procedural move that allows him to bring the measure to the floor again in the future. The final vote was 206-220.
Conservatives huddled with McCarthy in the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon, after the failed rule vote. Emerging from that meeting, a solution to the floor impasse had not been reached.
“There’s still some conversations to have,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), another conservative who opposed the rule, told reporters when asked if there would be a vote that night.
“We had a breakdown in the process last week, we think we need to restore the process that was working,” he added.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), a member of the Freedom Caucus who supported the rule Tuesday, said discussions that afternoon were “productive.”
“Everything is fine. You know, members are just talking, kind of going through things, and I think what — our discussions were productive. But look, we’re really focused on doing the right thing on behalf of the American people,” he told reporters while leaving McCarthy’s office.
Emily Brooks and Mike Lillis contributed.