On Thursday, POLITICO reported that GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has upped his concessions to the far-right lawmakers blocking his bid for Speaker — and that one of the rule changes on the table would be a key ask that would essentially make it possible for those lawmakers to force a vote to remove him from office at any time.
"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," reported Rachel Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza. "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."
This was a major sticking point for several of the Republicans blocking McCarthy, many of whom are members of the extreme-right House Freedom Caucus.
Several other potential concessions on the table include giving the Freedom Caucus two seats on the Rules Committee, a guaranteed vote on a term limits bill, and standalone votes on each of the 12 appropriations bills that would allow each an open amendment process — all of which would give more power to the defectors.
This week, McCarthy became the first House party leader since 1923 to be blocked from the Speakership on the first ballot, leaving the House in limbo with the rules package not passed and members not formally sworn in.
Even with all of these concessions, McCarthy faces a tough battle to get the required 218 votes, as he can only afford to lose four members and 21 voted against him at the last count. Some lawmakers, like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), have made it clear they will not back McCarthy under any circumstances, no matter what concessions he offers.