House GOP Whip Tom Emmer was caught off guard Tuesday when 11 of its members thwarted a usually trivial procedural vote to advance gas stove legislation — in their latest uprising against leadership.
“It was spontaneous,” Emmer, R-Minn., told DailyMail.com of the rebel group’s latest scheme.
The kitchen appliance once again found itself caught up in middle American politics when members of the right-wing Freedom Caucus moved to fire President Kevin McCarthy’s plans to move forward with four bills to stop the Biden administration from regulating gas stoves.
Eleven of them voted ‘no’ to the rule, making it the first time a procedural vote had failed that way in two decades. The procedural vote failed 206 to 220, with all Democrats opposing it.
The House will vote on the rule again on Wednesday. When asked if it would pass this time around, Emmer replied, “We’ll still have to discuss.”
The House was originally scheduled to vote on the rule at 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, but that vote has been delayed and it is unclear when it will be brought back to the full House.
“McCarthy lied, the rule is dead,” Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., wrote on Twitter after Tuesday’s vote.
‘It was spontaneous,’ Emmer, R-Minn., told DailyMail.com of the 11 ‘no’ votes on the rule to advance gas stove legislation.
“House leadership couldn’t hold the line,” Gaetz tweeted Wednesday ahead of the second vote on the rule. “Now we hold the ground.”
Members of the Freedom Caucus, along with conservative ally Matt Gaetz, have expressed grievances with Republican leaders — particularly the claim that Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., was retaliated against for voting “ no” on the Biden-McCarthy debt limit agreement.
Majority Leader Steve Scalise denied holding Clyde’s bill hostage over his opposition to the debt limitation agreement.
10 members of the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) and their conservative ally Matt Gaetz voted against advancing the gas stove bills on Tuesday to voice their grievances over the debt deal
“The problem comes from the counting of the votes,” insisted Scalise. “Some members aren’t here yet, and we’re working on bringing them in.”
Emmer, a longtime hockey coach with a gift for sports analogies, said he was unaware of any kind of threat if there was one, and had long predicted growing pains within the new Republican majority.
“This team was very successful and did things for the first five months that people never thought possible,” he said. “But I said over the past five months…don’t expect us to always be successful.” There will be a day when we come up against adversity, there will be a day when we have a disagreement. That’s what teams do. We are going through this period right now.
“We’ll come out the other side even stronger than we came in.”
Tuesday’s dissent created dramatic scenes on the House floor, with Emmer and Scalise huddled in the back with Conservative opponents trying to convince them to change their vote.
After the ground protest, Clyde tweeted that he had secured management’s commitment that his bill repealing a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) rule on pistol straps would get a floor vote next Tuesday.
Still, mob agitators said they believe McCarthy breached “fundamental covenants” that ultimately gave McCarthy the hammer in the speakers’ 15-round race.
Such a deal has never been formally written down – so there’s no way of knowing whether the leaders are going back on a deal they made with the Tories.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., complained that leaders did not allow the debt ceiling agreement to go through an open rule — meaning rank and file members were not allowed to put amendments to the vote. Some members said McCarthy had promised them that he would present all laws under an open rule.
Others were upset that more Democrats voted for the final package than Republicans, 171 to 149. McCarthy, however, boasted that two-thirds of the Republican conference backed the bill.
Opponents of gas stoves had previously balked at the debt deal, which suspended the debt ceiling until January 2025 in return for budget cuts, because it was not conservative enough.
“I think the speaker honored the agreements he made,” Emmer said. “I can’t speak for the members, it’s their perception. It is their reality.
Some members of the Freedom Caucus have already floated the idea of bringing a vacancy motion — where a member can call for a vote where only a simple majority can oust McCarthy from the presidency.
Emmer dismissed the possibility of such a game.
“I don’t think that’s even within the realm of reasonableness,” he said. “I know it’s interesting for everyone to speculate.”
“McCarthy has the support. We will work on everything that is in disagreement at this time. And we’ll come out on the other side an even better team than we were when we got into this.
The group of lawmakers said they would oppose any legislation until they got a written deal from McCarthy promising to revert to the January deal.
Opposition within the narrow majority could be particularly problematic given the House’s upcoming priorities – leaders want to pass 12 appropriation bills to redistribute spending, they must reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ( FISA), pass a new five-year farm bill and reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“I will try to work with them as much as possible,” Emmer said of the 11 Republican members if they continue to obstruct GOP priorities.
The whip said “emotions ran high” as the House pushed through party-line bills in quick succession that went to die in the Senate.
“You have a Senate that does not want to do anything. I mean, Chuck Schumer seems to be standing in the way of any progress. And I think our members feel that because they’re not able to provide the solutions that would help people.