Republicans Flip On Kevin McCarthy

Voice of America, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday (May 30), Republican Rep. Dan Bishop (N.C.) became the first Republican to publicly support removing Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over the debt ceiling deal he reached with President Joe Biden amid mounting conservative criticism of the deal.

Speaking at a House Freedom Caucus news conference on Tuesday, Bishop was the only member to raise his hand when questions were raised about ousting McCarthy, despite his colleagues expressing frustration with the deal.

“I think it’s got to be done,” Bishop told reporters after the news conference.

But Bishop would not commit to introducing a motion to vacate the seat, which would have triggered a vote to remove McCarthy as speaker.

Instead, the North Carolina Republican said he’d make the decision with “others” despite the threshold to trigger a vote being one lawmaker, lowered from five after McCarthy agreed to the reduction to get support from the Freedom Caucus in his bid for the Speakership.

For months, hard-line conservative Republicans have deflected questions about whether they would try to replace McCarthy as speaker if he struck a debt-limit deal that didn’t meet their demands.

But members of the House Freedom Caucus and others were furious that the debt ceiling bill introduced over the weekend did not do more to cut spending and complained of huge loopholes in other provisions put forth by GOP leadership.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) suggested his Republican colleagues shouldn’t vote for the debt limit bill on Wednesday (May 31), arguing it was “a bad deal.”

On Tuesday morning’s appearance on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Roy told the conservative host that if he couldn’t kill the bill on the House floor, the conservative caucus would “have to regroup and figure out the whole leadership arrangement again.”