GOP House Floor Erupts, Freedom Caucus Halts Key Vote on Spending Bill

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Wednesday was a busy day in the House of Representatives. Hunter Biden first appeared at his contempt hearing for Congress (then quickly left), and then tensions rose when a small number of Republicans killed a procedural vote, seen as a show of displeasure towards Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who had recently negotiated a $1.7 trillion budget bill.

According to reports, Johnson allegedly got into a fight with Rep. Chip Roy.

Tensions flared at the Capitol when Republicans rebelled against each other on a procedural vote that is normally tame. The House floor is temporarily paralyzed. Bob Good, R.-Va. (Freedom Caucus chair) was one of the rebels that sank the vote. He suggested they’d do it again if Johnson didn’t make certain promises on border security and spending.

Then, what seemed to be an angry confrontation ensued between Johnson and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who has been criticizing the GOP leader ever since the deal on government spending was announced.

They were seen pointing and shaking heads animatedly. A group of legislators and staff gathered around them to try and prevent the situation from getting worse. Roy was behind an attempt to sabotage the vote.

Thirteen members of the House Freedom Caucus voted against Republicans in what is known as a “rule vote”. This was a major setback to the House Republican leadership, as they only have a two-seat majority at this time.

Roy has criticized Johnson in the past and even threatened to remove him as Speaker. Kevin McCarthy, former Speaker of the House (R-CA), knows about this. Similar spending concerns led Matt Gaetz to lead an effort that ended with his removal in October 2023.

Bob Good, Freedom Caucus Chairman (R-VA), voiced his criticisms against the budget deal.

We are making a declaration that the deal, as announced, is unacceptable. It does not secure the border and it doesn’t reduce our spending. And, if the rules are suspended, the deal will be approved with primarily Democrat votes.

Utah Senator Mike Lee (R), who has previously sided with Freedom Caucus members, posted on Monday an angry tweet about the bill.

Johnson is in an unenviable situation, trying to pass a spending bill when the Dems have control of the Senate and he only has a two-seat House majority. Since the GOP gained control of the government after the midterm elections in 2022, budget issues have become a contentious issue. The Freedom Caucus wants more border solutions and less spending.

After the confrontation, Caucus members headed into Johnson’s offices.