House GOP obsesses over mirage of a backroom-deal doc https://t.co/YvOnwE33Dg
— MSN (@MSN) January 12, 2023
No honor among
thieves Republicans, I guess. It’s a Politico story, but I know some of y’all have (quite reasonable) objections to giving them clicks:
Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his GOP allies insist that no back-room promises were made to land his gavel after 15 frenetic ballots, that no plum committee spots, precise spending cuts, or debt limit strategy were guaranteed in a quid pro quo. Agreements and goals were reached with conservatives who initially withheld their votes from the speaker, GOP leaders say, but nothing was formalized in writing.
McCarthy made his denial of any backroom agreement plain on Thursday, telling reporters: “There’s not a side deal to anything.” But that doesn’t change the reality outlined earlier by Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio), who leads the Republican Governance Group: “There’s all these people talking about a document that doesn’t exist.”
But the debate surrounding the document has exposed a trust problem days into McCarthy’s speakership. There’s plenty of paper flying around summarizing handshake deals between the speaker and his members, and some GOP lawmakers have muddled their leaders’ message by talking candidly about what they secured in exchange for their speaker votes.
That boasting has heightened worries within the conference about working together in good faith for the next two years. Nearly a full week after McCarthy’s battle played out in extraordinarily public fashion, lawmakers in his conference are still striving to learn details of what’s been promised and to whom.
“You’ve got members who don’t believe other members because they read something. It’s about trust. You either trust people or you don’t,” Joyce said.
The situation has grown more complicated this week, as GOP leadership outlined the concessions that it prefers to interpret as agreements and as some House Republicans open up about what they got from last week’s frenetic talks. One McCarthy holdout, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), bluntly told Fox News when asked “what did you get” that he would join the influential GOP Steering Committee “as Speaker McCarthy’s designee.”
McCarthy also informed members that the House would take its first-ever vote this Congress on a contentious national sales tax bill that Georgia Republicans — including McCarthy dissenter Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) — have pushed for decades…
Some House Republicans argue that the most divisive of the concessions floating around are “aspirational” — particularly on issues like spending and the debt limit, which would need to get buy-in from the Democratic Senate and White House to go anywhere.
Three Republican lawmakers said GOP leaders did put something in writing: It was a PowerPoint slideshow presented to members at Tuesday’s conference meeting.
“He went through the agreement at conference — he had it all on the PowerPoint,” said one McCarthy ally, speaking on the condition of anonymity…