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Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., on Tuesday became the first Republican to call publicly for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ouster over the debt ceiling deal the California GOP representative reached over the weekend with President Joe Biden.
“I think it’s got to be done,” Bishop told reporters after a House Freedom Caucus press conference Tuesday, where he was the only Republican to raise his hand to show he would support a motion to remove McCarthy from the seat, The Hill reported.
However, the North Carolina Republican didn’t commit to filing a motion to remove McCarthy, which would require a House vote. He said that he would decide on that “in conjunction with others.”
Bishop’s comments come after House conservatives have sidestepped questions for months about whether they would seek to take way McCarthy’s gavel if he reached a debt limit deal that they could approve.
The deal that was reached this weekend did not do enough to cut spending and left loopholes in some of the provisions of a House bill that had already been passed, according to caucus members and other Republicans.
“I’m just fed up with the lies, I’m fed up with the lack of courage, the cowardice, and I intend to see to it that there is somebody who’s prepared to say what needs to be done,” Bishop said.
Though he would not directly say who he would have preferred to have negotiated with the White House other than McCarthy, Bishop said that of the 222 members of the House Republican Conference, nobody “could have done a worse job.”
Earlier Tuesday, there was still no talk about bringing a motion to oust McCarthy. However, many Republicans remained highly critical about the debt ceiling deal that was reached and accused McCarthy of “utter capitulation.”
Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., told Politico that the deal wasn’t “much different than what we could have gotten with a Democrat majority in the House,” and he said that he doesn’t know of anyone talking about removing McCarthy.
Bishop was one of the 20 Republicans who would not back McCarthy for speaker in January. As part of the 15-ballot election that took place to seat McCarthy, the opposition secured a commitment to allow a motion to vacate the chair to require just one member to make the motion, not five, as had been in place when former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in charge.
Bishop is the first to call for McCarthy’s removal, though several others have also said they think the measure should be considered.
“If I can’t kill it, if we can’t kill it on the floor tomorrow, then we’re going to have to then regroup and figure out the whole leadership arrangement again,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said in an interview on Glenn Beck’s radio show Tuesday morning.
Likewise, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said the bill “indicates exactly why I have concerns about him being speaker,” and Good called it a “failure of leadership for us to surrender all the leverage and all the strength” that had been in the House “Limit, Save, Grow” bill.
There has never been a speaker removed through a motion from a fellow representative, but back in 2015, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., filed a motion to remove then-Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Although the motion was defeated after it was referred to the House Rules Committee, Boehner resigned from office later that year.
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