House Speaker Kevin McCarthy seems confident that he can rally enough Republican votes to pass the new debt ceiling bill—but it doesn’t look like he’ll have an easy time.
Republican and White House negotiators finally reached a deal over the weekend to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default, just days before the U.S. government runs out of money. But the outcry from the GOP has been swift.
At least 25 Republican representatives have already stated they intend to vote against the bill. Others have expressed opposition to the measure, a sign that they will likely vote “no.” Texas Representative Wesley Hunt and Florida Representative Cory Mills both said they would not vote for the deal.
Matt Gaetz said he, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, and Andy Biggs (who has never been a McCarthy fan) “have never voted to raise the Debt Limit for this woke and weaponized government.” Victoria Spartz said she “will NOT support this gamesmanship” and suggested giving negotiators more time to make a new deal—even though there’s no time left, thanks to Republican refusal to negotiate.
Nancy Mace said she would vote “no” on the bill and called Washington “broken.” (Take this one with a grain of salt though. Mace very publicly opposed three previous GOP leadership-backed bills: one to remove Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee, an anti-abortion bill, and McCarthy’s previous debt limit bill. She ultimately voted for all of those measures, so the odds are good she will pull a similar 180 here.)
Other definite “no”s include Chip Roy, Anna Paulina Luna, Byron Donalds, and Lauren Boebert—all members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus that vehemently opposed McCarthy’s bid for speakership and has been a thorn in his side ever since he won the gavel. McCarthy made multiple concessions to the caucus in order to become speaker, including restoring the motion to vacate, which would allow any single member of the House to call for a vote to remove him.
Members expected to vote “no” include Andy Ogles, Clay Higgins, and George Santos. Santos’s opposition is surprising, given he essentially owes his continued congressional career to McCarthy. The speaker has repeatedly been willing to overlook Santos’s many, many fabrications and legal troubles in order to keep the House majority. Mike Lee has also indicated he opposes the bill, tweeting that the House Rules committee should reject the deal and negotiators draw up a new one, “this time without the capitulation.”
This post has been updated.