Former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, questioned how his old colleagues could claim a win in the speaker’s race without digging themselves into a deeper hole.
Congress is delayed by intraparty fighting over who the next speaker will be in the new House Republican majority. And many are becoming more frustrated by the revolt of a faction of conservatives that has incapacitated Congress and hurt Republicans on a national scale.
Twenty conservatives voted to block Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California from winning the speaker’s gavel two days in a row. That stopped the House from organizing and preventing the 434 lawmakers elected in November from taking the oath of office and formally beginning their terms in office.
According to Republicans involved in the talks, Mr. McCarthy has conceded to key demands from the holdouts. This includes reinstating a rule that enables one lawmaker to call up a vote to eject the speaker in the middle of a congressional session.
A second concession from Mr. McCarthy would make it easier for lawmakers to amend spending legislation by mandating each of the 12 appropriations bills to be considered separately and under an open rule.
Mr. Mulvaney, who appeared in the halls of the Capitol Wednesday, praised Freedom Caucus members for the strides they made over the years but cautioned how they take their victories. He made his comments Thursday morning during an interview on Fox Business’ “Mornings With Maria.”
“I’m a founding member of the Freedom Caucus. I know most of these folks, right? They’ve had tremendous wins already. I know it’s boring to people, but the rules package negotiated will allow them to vote on things like mandatory spending and unfunded mandates, things we used to beg for from John Boehner 10 years ago [when] we had the last speaker’s battle,” Mr. Mulvaney said.
Mr. Mulvaney noted that Rep.-elect Jim Jordan of Ohio will be chairman of the Judiciary Committee, something that Freedom Caucus members could never “imagine” 10 years ago.
“The question is this. How do you claim victory with grace right now? They’ve dug themselves so deep in a hole. I don’t know how they get out, but they have won the battle,” he said. “I don’t know how they do it other than just to say we’re done. We’ve won. Let’s take McCarthy and move on.”