Dissatisfaction spread throughout the conservative ranks of the House Republican Conference over the weekend regarding the debt ceiling agreement and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) received his first “no” vote as one member railed, “It is frankly an insult…”
January’s marathon vote to elect McCarthy to his leadership position has not been forgotten and with a viable alternative to negotiate with ahead of a June 1 deadline, at least one conservative congressman has taken a stand against a potential $4 trillion increase in spending. Sunday, Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale released a statement explaining his position.
“The D.C. Swamp has proposed the largest debt ceiling increase in our nation’s history, adding $4 trillion to the existing $31 trillion national debt. The Fiscal Irresponsibility Act fails to cut spending and continues to fund the Democrats’ and Biden Administration’s radical agenda,” he said.
“It is frankly an insult to the American people to support a piece of legislation that continues to put our country’s financial future at risk,” Rosendale continued. “Montanas did not send me to Washington to support business as usual, which is why I will be voting AGAINST the Fiscal Irresponsibility Act.”
The congressman had been one of the original holdouts on McCarthy’s nomination to speaker and had said in January, “We gave Kevin McCarthy opportunities over the last two years to demonstrate leadership skills whether it was the [continuing resolution], the NDAA, the so-called infrastructure bill, we put him in a position where he could have negotiated some common sense reforms, and he failed on every measure.”
Fox News host asks McCarthy holdout if he’s ‘holding up the agenda of the Republican Party’ https://t.co/xCySjkwo77
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) January 2, 2023
Rosendale never conceded his position on McCarthy, voting “present” in the final round, but had worked with fellow Republicans toward the passage of the Limit, Save, Grow Act in April toward resolving the debt ceiling well before the impending deadline.
In a Thursday letter joined by 34 colleagues including Rep. Chip Roy (Texas), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and Lauren Boebert (Colo.), McCarthy had been reminded, “House Republicans have done our duty in passing the Limit, Save, Grow Act and you were repeatedly rebuffed in your attempts to bring President Biden to the negotiating table. Despite claiming he would be ‘blameless,’ President Biden is entirely responsible for any breach in the debt ceiling, period.”
After the April passage of the bill, Rosendale had contended, “The United States is $31 trillion in debt — the House Republican plan is a great start to addressing this crisis. For far too long, Congress has been kicking the can down the road and allowing deficit spending to spiral out of control. This comprehensive plan will fund the federal government responsibly and remove barriers to growing the economy while protecting Social Security, Medicare, and veteran’s benefits. The spending habits of Washington politicians and bureaucrats must change to secure our nation’s financial future. We must shrink Washington to grow America.”
Meanwhile, signs that McCarthy was more keen on achieving the necessary votes for passage on time rather than using the leverage of the majority to work out a deal most favorable for Republican voters, a familiar carrot was once again dangled before the lawmakers of West Virginia.
Previously, authorization of the natural gas Mountain Valley Pipeline had been used to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D) to sign onto the so-called Inflation Reduction Act. That promise was made yet again in the debt ceiling package as his colleague Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) stated, “After working with Speaker McCarthy and reiterating what completing the Mountain Valley Pipeline would mean for American jobs and domestic energy production, I am thrilled it is included in the debt ceiling package that avoids default.”
“Despite delay after delay, we continued to fight to get this critical natural gas pipeline up and running, and its inclusion in this deal is a significant victory for the future of West Virginia,” she added.
“Despite delay after delay, we continued to fight to get this critical natural gas pipeline up and running, and its inclusion in this deal is a significant victory for the future of West Virginia.” (2/2) https://t.co/Sf7eDUfm6z
— EPW Republicans (@EPWGOP) May 28, 2023
Manchin released a statement as well and said, “Last summer, I introduced legislation to complete the Mountain Valley Pipeline. I am pleased Speaker McCarthy and his leadership team see the tremendous value in completing the MVP to increase domestic energy production and drive down costs across America and especially in West Virginia. I am proud to have fought for this critical project and to have secured the bipartisan support necessary to get it across the finish line”
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