After two days of embarrassing defeat spanning six votes for Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy has offered his critics a mountain of new concessions before, during and after a round of Wednesday night negotiations, Politico reports.
The concessions include (via Politico):
- A one-member “motion to vacate”: The GOP leader appears to have finally acquiesced to a demand to lower the threshold needed to force a vote ousting a speaker to just one member. While McCarthy originally indicated that restoring the one-member “motion to vacate” was a red line, his allies now argue that there’s not a huge practical difference between this and his previous offer of requiring five members to trigger the vote.
- Rules Committee seats for the Freedom Caucus: McCarthy is prepared to give the House Freedom Caucus two seats on the powerful House Rules Committee, which oversees the amendment process for the floor. (Some conservatives are still holding out for four seats on the panel.) There are also talks about giving a third seat to a conservative close to the Freedom Caucus but not in it — someone like Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky. Who would pick those members is still under discussion. Typically, it’s the speaker’s prerogative, but conservatives want to choose their own members for these jobs.
- A vote on term limits: This is a key demand of Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), who has proposed a constitutional amendment limiting lawmakers to three terms in the House.
- Major changes to the appropriations process: Fears of another trillion-plus-dollar omnibus spending bill have been a major driver of the conservative backlash to McCarthy. The brewing deal includes a promise for standalone votes on each of the 12 annual appropriations bills, which would be considered under what is known as an “open rule,” allowing floor amendments to be offered by any lawmaker.