House leadership rejects most conservative rule changes so far

House Republican leadership rejected six of eight rule changes proposed by the conservative Freedom Caucus before Thanksgiving break, according to Just the News.

Some of the rules included a rule requiring all spending bills to be passed by October 1, or no other legislation can be considered for the rest of the year; an amendment to ensure that all Republican conference members can participate in conference meetings; and one that allows committee members to elect their own chairman.

The two amendments that passed are ones that prevent steering committee members, except elected leadership, from serving on the executive committee of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and one that reopens House grounds to the public again, ending access limitations put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

An aide told Just the News that a number of additional amendments will be offered by the Freedom Caucus after the Thanksgiving break.

Holman rule

One of those is the reimplementation of the Holman Rule, which cuts the salaries of federal employees who are not cooperating with existing law.

“Democrats eliminated the ‘Holman Rule’ when they took the House because it allows members to make targeted spending cuts in appropriations funding bills by slashing the funding of specific federal programs or cutting the salaries of individual federal employees (e.g., Dr. Anthony Fauci),” an official House Freedom Caucus summary of the desired rules changes read.

Conservative Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has already suggested using the Holman Rule to defund Jack Smith, the special counsel appointed to investigate former President Donald Trump.

Other amendments that will be considered are one that ends the ability to suspend the debt ceiling without a standalone vote and one that bans earmarks, which are parts of bills that benefit one specific district or part of a district.

Will McCarthy be speaker?

It is still not a lock for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will be elected speaker. Because the GOP only has a majority of 221, and 218 votes are needed to elect a speaker, just a few dissenters would be enough to derail him.

So far, five Republicans have said they won’t support McCarthy, which would mean that he may not have the votes he needs. At least one of the dissenters has said he may vote present, which would lower the number McCarthy needs to win.

If McCarthy doesn’t get a majority of the votes, there will have to be a floor fight and multiple ballots to determine who the speaker will be.

Multiple ballots have not happened since 1923.