The White House on Tuesday called on Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to make public the details of any agreements he struck with conservative House members in exchange for their votes to win the Speakership.
Deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates warned that the extent of the deals between McCarthy and the roughly 20 Republicans who initially opposed his bid for Speaker are not fully known, but that they could wreak havoc on the economy and key government programs.
“An unprecedented tax hike on the middle class and a national abortion ban are just a glimpse of the secret, backroom deals Speaker McCarthy made with extreme MAGA members to end this month’s chaotic elections and claim the gavel,” Bates said in a statement, which was first reported by Politico. “The few agreements we know about would fundamentally reshape our economy in a devastating way for working families and criminalize women for making their own health care decisions.
“What other hidden bargains did Speaker McCarthy make behind closed doors with the most extreme, ultra MAGA members of the House Republican conference?” Bates continued. “The American people have a right to know — now — which is why we are calling on him to make every single one of them public immediately.”
McCarthy earlier this month offered a series of concessions to hard-line conservatives in a bid to win their votes for Speaker, which he ultimately did after 15 rounds of voting.
McCarthy agreed to several procedural changes, including lowering the threshold to bring up a move to force a vote on ousting the House Speaker down to just one member, committing to moving bills through regular order and promising to bring up bills on term limits and border security for floor votes.
The California Republican also agreed to drive a hard line in upcoming budget talks, with conservatives who ultimately backed McCarthy calling for caps on spending and changes to programs like Social Security and Medicare. That assurance comes ahead of a standoff between Republicans and Democrats over raising the debt ceiling before the nation defaults.
But Democrats have raised concerns that McCarthy has not been forthcoming about the specifics of other concessions he may have made to conservatives to win their votes for Speaker, including whether he promised votes on certain bills or subcommittee gavels to certain lawmakers.
The White House statement attacking McCarthy came as President Biden is dealing with his own controversy.
Biden has been under fire since it was reported a week ago that classified documents from his time as vice president were found in an office he used from 2017 to 2019 while working for the University of Pennsylvania at its Washington, D.C., think tank.
Since then, additional documents with classified markings were found at Biden’s Wilmington, Del., home. The White House has faced criticism for not disclosing the findings as they happened, with House Republicans vowing to investigate whether Biden knew about the documents or what role he may have played in their discovery.
Source: The Hill
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