It’s finally over. After days of negotiations and 14 failed ballots—the most since 1860—Republican Kevin McCarthy was officially elected speaker of the House early Saturday morning. In exchange for the necessary votes to get him elected, the congressman had to beg, barter, and plead with a group of hardline Republicans who held out for a litany of concessions.
Since Wednesday, McCarthy and his supporters have been negotiating with several far-right GOPers, including some who have been implicated in Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, as my colleague Dan Friedman previously reported. House members like Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), and Scott Perry (R-Pa.) all held out on their votes, until McCarthy eventually won them over.
According to CNN, here’s what the holdouts got from McCarthy in exchange for the speakership:
- Any member can call for a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair
- A McCarthy-aligned super-PAC (the Congressional Leadership Fund) agreed to not spend in open Republican primaries in safe seats
- The House will hold votes on key conservative bills, including a balanced budget amendment, congressional term limits, and border security
- Efforts to raise the nation’s debt ceiling must be paired with spending cuts
- Move 12 appropriations bills individually, instead of passing separate bills to fund government operations
- More Freedom Caucus representation on committees, including the influential House Rules Committee
- Cap discretionary spending at fiscal year 2022 levels, which would amount to lower levels for defense and domestic programs
- 72 hours to review bills before they come to floor
- Give members the ability to offer more amendments on the House floor
- Create an investigative committee to probe the “weaponization” of the federal government
- Restore the Holman rule, which can be used to reduce the salary of government officials