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‘This is What We’ve Been Fighting For’: Matt Gaetz Reveals What GOP Rebels Were Able to Get Out of Battle with McCarthy

    It took fifteen times for Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to finally get across the procedural finish line and procure enough votes to become the 118th Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    After the fourteenth failed vote due to a faction of GOP rebels thwarting his bid, Kevin McCarthy and nemesis Matt Gaetz had a dramatic showdown on the House floor.

    Gaetz had voted “present,” leaving McCarthy just one vote away from taking the Speaker’s gavel.

    McCarthy could be seen making a passionate last-minute appeal to Gaetz as the votes were being counted.

    Gaetz then wagged a finger at McCarthy. After the California representative walked away, Mike Rogers of Alabama started to go towards Gaetz, but was held back by other lawmakers.

    After all this highly tense House theater, McCarthy was finally able to garner enough votes to wrap up a spectacle that hadn’t been seen in the People’s Chamber for over a hundred years.

    On Saturday night, Matt Gaetz revealed what the protracted battle against the McCarthy camp was all about.

    “This is what we’ve been fighting for,” Gaetz said in response to an NBC News report on the McCarthy concessions.

    The report notes that these provisions include a vote on “cutting IRS funding, restricting migration and curtailing abortion.”

    The passage was from a draft of the current House Rules that are under consideration. Among these considerations were the following provisions [in italics]:

    Subsection (b) provides for the separate consideration of seven bills under a closed rule with one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader or their respective designees and one motion to recommit.

    Subsection (c) provides the list of bills referred to in subsection (b), which include:
    • A bill to rescind certain balances made available to the Internal Revenue Service.
    • A bill to authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to suspend the entry of aliens, and for other purposes.
    • A bill to prohibit the Secretary of Energy from sending petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China, and for other purposes.
    • A bill to amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act to direct district attorney and prosecutors offices to report to the Attorney General, and for other purposes.
    • A bill to require the national instant criminal background check system to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the relevant State and local law enforcement agencies whenever the information available to the system indicates that a person illegally or unlawfully in the United States may be attempting to receive a firearm.
    • A bill to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions.
    • A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.

    Subsection (d) provides for the separate consideration of two resolutions under a closed rule with one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader or their respective designees.

    Subsection (e) provides the list of resolutions referred to in subsection (d), which include:
    • A resolution establishing the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.
    • A resolution establishing a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government as a select investigative subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary.

    Subsection (f) provides for the consideration of a concurrent resolution expressing support for the Nation’s law enforcement agencies and condemning anyefforts to defund or dismantle law enforcement agencies under a closed rule with one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader or their respective designees.

    Subsection (g) provides for the consideration of a concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress condemning the recent attacks on prolife facilities, groups, and churches under a closed rule with one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader or their respective designees.

    Subsection (h) allows the Speaker to recognize a member for the reading of the Constitution on any legislative day through February 28, 2023.

    This passage sets a clear agenda about the House of Representatives’ goals. It is now up to Speaker Kevin McCarthy to see this through.

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    OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.