The deal passed easily, 314 to 177, with more Democratic than Republican votes. The best thing about a vote that big is that it will make Mike Lee and Rand Paul look more ridiculous when they try to hold it up in the Senate. Also that McCarthy owes so much to the Democrats. The Freedom Caucus guys are going to HATE that,
The closed rule—no amendments allowed, passed pretty easily 241-187. There were 52 Democratic yes votes, and 29 Republican noes. There might not be as many Dems in support when it comes to final passage, and they’ll probably hold out, letting Republicans go first and then determining how many of them will be needed to help pass it. The House is scheduled to pick up again at 7:15 PM, ET to proceed to final passage.
The debt ceiling/budget bill worked out between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will hit the House floor Wednesday afternoon, in a massive blow to the Freedom Caucus maniacs who have been rooting for the nation to default on its debt and for economic catastrophe. Their short rebellion fizzled, and McCarthy may get at least 150 Republican votes on the plan.
The major part of the drama was over once Rep. Tom Massie, a Kentucky Republican, said he would vote the bill out of the Rules Committee. Freedom Caucus Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, and Ralph Norman of South Carolina couldn’t convince him to play spoiler, despite histrionics from Roy throughout the day and his dire warning that “The Republican conference has been torn asunder.”
SIGN: End the Debt Limit game of blackmail. Pass real reform.
What has been torn asunder is the control the Freedom Caucus thought they had over McCarthy. That was clear once members of the group started downplaying their one big card: the motion to vacate the chair. It takes only one member to start the ball rolling on ousting McCarthy from the speakership, and it became clear quickly that there was little appetite among the rebels to even try. Even “firebrand” Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene will likely vote for the bill in the end.
The deal pretty effectively neuters the Freedom Caucus and limits the damage House Republicans can do between now and Jan. 1, 2025. They can’t take the debt ceiling hostage again in the next year and a half, and they can’t shut down the government by refusing to complete spending bills without doing serious political damage to themselves.
From a progressive perspective, the bill isn’t great, and most in the Progressive Caucus probably won’t support it. They don’t have to. There will be enough Republican votes and votes from other Democrats to pass the bill. From a political and economic stability perspective, the bill is fantastic. It averts economic catastrophe and neutralizes the Freedom Caucus in one go. In other words, Biden wins in a big way.
Republican unity on debt ceiling crumbling fast
House Freedom Caucus neutered by debt ceiling deal
McCarthy’s speaker deals come back to haunt him
We have Rural Organizing’s Aftyn Behn. Markos and Aftyn talk about what has been happening in rural communities across the country and progressives’ efforts to engage those voters. Behn also gives the podcast a breakdown of which issues will make the difference in the coming elections.