Leaving drama behind, GOP warms to McCarthy in debt fight
April 21, 2023 -WASHINGTON (AP) — The last Republican holdout in the grueling race for Kevin McCarthy to become House speaker, firebrand Rep. Matt Gaetz, may be a surprisingly easier vote to get when it comes to passing the House Republican plan to raise the debt ceiling.
That’s because the 320-page debt ceiling package McCarthy has drafted includes many long-sought conservative priorities — a rollback of current spending levels, a cap on future spending, work requirements for government aid recipients — that Gaetz, the House Freedom Caucus and other factions demanded.
Rather than drag McCarthy down with painstaking internal party battles over the debt ceiling bill, House Republican lawmakers are looking to prop up their leader, get behind the bill and take the spending fight to President Joe Biden at the White House.
“I’m not looking to spit in the face of the gift horse,” Gaetz, R-Fla., told reporters at the Capitol as he weighs how he will vote.
What seemed almost politically impossible just a few short months ago, when House Republicans were nearly coming to blows on the chamber floor, now appears surprisingly on track as McCarthy pushes, prods and pulls his slim majority to coalesce around a debt ceiling plan ahead of next week’s expected vote.