U.S. Rep. Ken Buck claimed on Tuesday that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is out of touch with the American people.
Speaking on CNN, he was asked to address the burgeoning push among far-right members of the GOP to use a “motion to vacate” to oust McCarthy from his leadership spot over the debt ceiling agreement he reached with President Joe Biden.
Listen to his response below:
“I think it’s premature to start talking about the motion to vacate. But it is certainly something when you get a large percentage of Republicans that will not vote for this bill, and at the same time, you have the speaker talking about how it is historic, and it’s a huge win for conservatives,” he replied.
He added that the problem is that the bill raises the debt ceiling by a whopping $4 trillion — a cost he believes the American people won’t tolerate.
“I was at Memorial Day events, and when the word about $4 trillion leaked out, people were furious. This is a bill that I think is going to be on the level of Obamacare when you talk about the amount of anger that the American public is going to feel,” he said.
Host Jake Tapper responded by making the case for why the bill ought to be supported by all Republicans.
“Some progressive Democrats, as you probably know, they’re also not thrilled by this bill. They’re angry with President Biden, not necessarily with Speaker McCarthy,” he said.
“If Republicans force even more concessions, it could push more Democrats away and make this deal even harder to pass before June 5, the likely default date, not to mention it and won’t be able to get through the Senate. Is it not possible that this is the best that can be gotten right now with Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House?” he added.
Buck replied by essentially arguing that it’s never too late to reverse course.
“Well, you’re asking me at the end of these negotiations. There was never a time when Republican members had input with Speaker McCarthy to give him some feedback on where this was going,” he said.
“So, do I think it’s too late? No. There’s always the possibility of a $500 billion clean debt ceiling so that this can be renegotiated without a, you know, what some people would call a catastrophe. I’m not sure just how bad it would be,” he continued.
By “it,” he meant America failing to meet its debt obligations and thus defaulting on its debt. According to reports, a default would be catastrophic for the economy.
Karine Jean-Pierre says there is currently no “Plan B” if Biden pushes the economy into default pic.twitter.com/cops3UP8Wg
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 25, 2023
Buck’s remarks come amid a burgeoning push to oust McCarthy.
“Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) on Tuesday became the first House conservative to explicitly state he is considering a push to strip McCarthy of the gavel over his recent deal with President Joe Biden,” according to Politico.
“The procedure Bishop is considering would essentially trigger a vote of no confidence against McCarthy — a tool that’s been weaponized by the conservative House Freedom Caucus against the past two speakers in attempts to keep party leaders from leaning too much towards the center. It would only take one House member to decide to trigger the vote, which would then require a simple majority to oust the speaker.”
However, he stressed that he’ll only go ahead with the move if he has enough support from his colleagues: “I don’t make single decisions like that alone. And so it depends on what the members who have courage [also do].”
Interestingly, another congressman who’s also expressed interest in vacating McCarthy is Buck. He reportedly raised the topic during a private House Freedom Caucus call on Tuesday.
“Buck asked the group’s chair, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), whether any of his fellow members were planning to trigger what’s known as a motion to vacate. … Buck [also] claimed that McCarthy’s deal violated his promise to conservatives during the January speaker fight, when he promised to return Congress to pre-pandemic spending levels.”
How did Perry respond? By reportedly saying, “Let’s see, it’s premature.” Which, incidentally is what Buck then told Tapper.
Asked about a potential ouster again during a press conference Tuesday, Perry said his only goal right now is to stop the debt ceiling deal.
Is the House Freedom Caucus going to boot McCarthy? “Were the bill to go forward, would you file a motion the vacate the chair?” pic.twitter.com/AOBQllYYsV
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) May 31, 2023
“I am focused on defeating this bill. What happens post that and the agreements that we have we will decide once we’ve determined the disposition of this bill in its finality,” he said.
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