Rep. Matt Gates vowed to hold House Speaker Kevin McCarthy accountable “better” amid heightened tensions in the House Republican conference over a government funding bill.
With Republicans holding a slim majority in the House, McCarthy has struggled as speaker through a difficult legislative battle. The California Republican, who narrowly won the speaker’s race in January, finally agreed to concessions to the party’s right after days of wrangling, including a measure that would allow lawmakers to resign as speaker at any time. Now, McCarthy is trying to placate staunch social conservatives and moderates representing the districts that President Joe Biden won in 2020 to maintain his position.
But tensions remain among House Republicans, and an upcoming legislative battle over a bill to fund the government for the next fiscal year could highlight those divisions and upend McCarthy’s speakership. Meanwhile, he faces criticism from some on the right after negotiating a deal with Democrats to avoid a default on the nation’s debt, his stance on aid to Ukraine during the Russian invasion, and his failure to release security tapes of the Jan. 6, 2021, riots. .
Gates, a conservative in Florida, was one of the Republicans most critical of McCarthy and one of the Republicans who declined to vote for McCarthy in January.
He responded to a post on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) asking why he wasn’t doing more to stop “McCarthy’s foot on the fire,” promising to “do better” in the future.
“I’ve done the best I can with the tools at my disposal for the last 8 months. But it’s not good enough. I’m not good enough. I know it. I’ve reflected deeply on it.” … I will try to get better. You deserve better than this. ’ Gates responded.
Gates did not specify how he plans to hold McCarthy accountable.when arriving Weekly newspaper As for specific ways Gates could hold McCarthy accountable, and whether that meant he could resign, a Gates spokesman said the congressman’s post “speaks for itself.”
Will Tanner, editor of conservative publications American Tribune, wrote in reply Gates’ post, “Time for Gates to regroup and head to scorched earth.”
Meanwhile, conservative commentator Steve Bannon called on House Republicans to vacate the speakership in his speech. war room He addressed the deficit deal on a podcast Tuesday, saying it did not address his concerns about the U.S. economy.
“Now McCarthy and the same Fine Gael will be there to give you a more pleasant conversation and how you really need to focus on the long term and how we’re going to get there next year. They should be ready for that motion to vacate. He’s clearly not fit for the job,” Bannon said.
McCarthy is already under pressure for an upcoming government funding bill after the Liberty Caucus, made up of the most conservative members of Congress, drew several red lines for a funding bill. Some conservatives also criticized House Republicans for not publicly releasing security footage of the Jan. 6, 2021, riots in the U.S. Capitol.
After the debt-ceiling conflict, Gates said McCarthy would be a “great” House leader as he faced a conservative backlash.