House Freedom Caucus chair says McCarthy declined his members' demands ahead of speaker vote

The House speaker election takes place this afternoon

Updated: January 3, 2023 - 12:25pm

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House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Scott Perry said Tuesday that GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy has declined his members' requests ahead of vote this afternoon to elect him as chamber speaker. 

In exchange for their support, the House Freedom Caucus members asked McCarthy to hold votes on a balanced budget, the Fair Tax Act, the Texas Border Plan and term limits for members of Congress but "he refused," Perry said in a statement. 

Perry also said: "We requested transparent, accountable votes on individual earmarks that would require two-thirds support to pass, and to ensure that all amendments to cut spending would be allowed floor consideration. He dismissed it." 

The Pennsylvania congressman also said the caucus "demanded that he cease his efforts to defeat competitive conservative candidates in open Republican primaries" and he denied it.

"Kevin McCarthy had an opportunity to be speaker of the House. He rejected it," Perry's statement concluded.

Following the House GOP Conference meeting on Tuesday, Virginia GOP Rep. Bob Good, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said that the meeting was "very hostile and I don’t think it did anything to persuade those who are inclined to vote against Kevin McCarthy." 

McCarthy described the meeting as "intense" and said there are going to be times that GOP leaders will argue with members who are seeking "positions for themselves" and not for the country. 

"We're not empowering certain members over others," he said.

McCarthy referenced the demands of the House Freedom Caucus.

"We may have a battle on the floor but the battle is for the conference and the country and that's fine with me," he said. "I don't see how a few people, maybe it's 5, maybe it's 20, sit because they want a gavel that they can't earn by the conference of themselves, that would be interesting to me, that's not what the constituents voted them for."

Just the News reached out to Perry's office for further comment on the status of McCarthy and House Freedom Caucus negotiations. 

"We’ve worked in good faith for months and, if Kevin McCarthy accepts the offer to reach 218, we expect him to govern in good faith – and that includes no retaliation against those who have worked with us on behalf of the American People to change the status quo in Washington," a Perry spokesperson said. 

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