Some Republican lawmakers want to repeal the rule that allows a single member to raise a motion to vacate the chair of House Speaker to avoid a repeat of Kevin McCarthy's historic ouster, reports the Washington Examiner.
"We can't put a new speaker in place with this structure that is completely dysfunctional. You can't do that. That's wrong. It would be unjust to another speaker," Rep. Garrett Graves, R-La., said. "Let's keep in mind, there is a conference rule that says that you cannot bring a motion to vacate without the support of the conference."
The rules of the House allow for any single lawmaker — Democrat or Republican — to make a "motion to vacate the chair."
It's a rare and strong procedural tool that has only been used twice in the past century. But in recent years, conservatives have wielded the motion as a weapon against their leaders.
In January, McCarthy, hoping to appease some on the hard right as he fought to gain their vote for speaker, agreed to give as few as five Republican members the ability to initiate a vote to remove him. But when that wasn't good enough for his critics, he agreed to reduce that threshold to one — the system that historically has been the norm.
Lawmakers in the Main Street Caucus who call themselves "pragmatic conservatives" said the rule forces a "chokehold" on the speakership.
"Personal politics should never again be used to trump the will of 96% of House conservatives," the caucus said in a joint statement. "Any candidate for speaker must explain to us how what happened on Tuesday will never happen again."
Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, told the Examiner that changing the rules is a "legitimate consideration" but it is not something being discussed among Republicans.
"I'd have to have a longer conversation about it," Arrington said when asked whether or not he'd support a rules change. "But I think the rules that we adopted are good. Actually, I think they hold us accountable as a conference to having the political will to have an open process and to actually enforce the fiscal discipline that we have failed to execute on in past Congresses and past majorities.
"So it's there to hold us accountable and to force us to follow through on the promises we make about open process, about enforcing budget rules, and being fiscally responsible."
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
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