McCarthy also urged Republicans to unite over party reports. He drew attention to the GOP’s efforts to highlight the growing crisis on the southern border, where a wave of unaccompanied migrant children has emerged since the beginning of the Biden government.
Sources say Biggs responded during Wednesday’s GOP meeting that some members have been visiting the border for years and not recently turned up – a not-so-subtle argument with McCarthy, who previously led a GOP delegation to the border has week.
“I didn’t think anything would get heated. People are passionate,” Biggs said after the meeting, despite refusing to discuss what had happened inside. “If we don’t use every procedural tool in the toolbox, that we have … yes, that frustrates me. “
Biggs added that as a member of the minority party, “one has to stand in the way and try to slow things down as much as possible.”
In the past few weeks, a small group of rebellious Republicans have been calling for recorded House votes on non-controversial bills and forcing votes on adjournment requests, which has given their peers a headache and messed up floor plans as members are forced to drop everything to to make it the bottom. These Republicans say they reflect great frustration with the way Democrats run the house, from the lack of opportunities to change the GOP to the barbed wire fences that have been erected around the Capitol.
The ongoing dispute over the land procedures is shaky but critical for the leaders of both parties. If GOP lawmakers refused to give up their delaying tactics, it would mean a spate of roll-call votes on the most mundane issues – forcing lawmakers to adopt a new way of life that spends half of their days on and off the ground shuffling around the house.
Ordinary members said they increasingly fear the House’s schedule will turn into chaos, and Democrats scramble to keep procedures in order as GOP lawmakers try to disrupt the day on a whim.
House majority leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats during a caucus-wide appeal Wednesday that he was working closely with McCarthy to resolve the issue. Hoyer said Democrats would make formal efforts to stop GOP tactics when the House returns after its upcoming hiatus.
“By the time we come back in April, we’ll have that resolved [Republican] Obstruction by negotiation or by changing the rules, ”said Hoyer according to the callers.
Senior Democrats say it is not clear what exactly changing the rules might look like, or whether it would actually help prevent Republicans in the House from forcing votes on every single non-controversial bill.
House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) Said he had discussed the issue with both Hoyer and House Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi and would try “to find the best way forward over the next few weeks.” “.
“Without going into the details, there are options. But here’s the deal: it would be nice if the minority leader told some of his members to act like adults,” said McGovern.
“”This is serious work that we do. These are serious debates we are having. And most of the complaints I honestly get come from Republicans. Because they are annoyed. “
And many Democrats, as well as a growing number of Republicans, fear GOP hardliners are showing no signs of an early withdrawal.
When asked if he wants to move the strategy forward, Biggs replied, “Yes. You have to keep pushing and trying like a son of a gun to slow them down. “
Frustration with the slowdown has increased for weeks after an already busy month of house votes for members was made worse by the GOP delaying tactic. Due to the pandemic, each vote takes about 45 minutes or longer, so a few additional roll-call votes can add hours to the base time of each day – often until late at night.
It’s not just a dispute over the process that is holding things up. Several Conservatives have significant complaints about some of the bipartisan bills designed for quick voting – including the Congressional gold medal legislation to award Capitol Police for their service during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Some Republicans are unhappy with the language in the gold medal bill, which the Capitol calls the “temple of our American democracy” and the attackers a “mob of insurgents.”
“These words are all important, right?” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) told POLITICO. “We’ll see, we’ll find out … I have to fully learn the language.”
Roy said “some” think the same as he does in the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, while noting that there are “a wide variety of opinions” on the matter.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) is currently handing out a competing bill in honor of the Capitol Police that makes no mention of the Capitol attack or January 6th. This is evident from a copy received from POLITICO.
“We mourn the losses of Capitol Police officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, and City Police officer Jeffrey Smith, who all passed away in January 2021,” said a bill that named officers with their deaths related to the uprising. “The sacrifices each of these men make are never forgotten in Congress and the many people who benefit from their ministry.”
The spit threatens to turn even one of the most undisputed topics Congress will face this year – in honor of its police – into a partisan clash.
“Our entire goal is to take the house back. And for that you need a good strategy, ”said Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.). “The leader made a plan that he thinks will take us there. So you don’t want 10, 15 different people to carry out their own plan. … So I agree with the leader.”