Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s role is “absolutely safe” despite some Republican pushback over his deal with President Joe Biden over the debt ceiling, according to Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA).
Graves, who helped lead the negotiations, appeared Sunday on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” with host Margaret Brennan and touted the deal as a “huge accomplishment.” When pressed on comments by Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) criticizing McCarthy, Graves said the speaker is in the clear.
“I’ll tell you right now, Speaker McCarthy’s position is absolutely safe,” Graves said. “He is going to continue delivering wins for the country, changing the direction of Washington and being more representative of the priorities of Americans across the country. I have no doubt his position is safe, and we’re going to keep marching forward continuing to build upon the historic wins that he’s been able to achieve this year.”
On Republican Rep. Ken Buck saying Speaker McCarthy should be worried about his job and doesn’t have the faith of the Republican caucus, GOP @RepGarretGraves says “it is not a mainstream position.”
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) June 4, 2023
Buck told CNN’s “State of the Union” that McCarthy had “credibility issues” and that he did not “know if a motion to vacate is going to happen right away.” Graves said Buck’s position on McCarthy was not the “mainstream position.”
Under the rules adopted this session of Congress, a single House member can bring forward a motion to vacate to start the process of forcing out the speaker. A simple majority is then needed to oust the speaker.
McCarthy has signaled that he is not worried about being removed from his position. “Not at all,” he said last Sunday during a press conference when a reporter asked if he was concerned.
Buck is not the only Republican congressman criticizing McCarthy for the debt ceiling deal. Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) have also been outspoken in their opposition to the deal. Seventy-one Republicans voted against the bill, half of which were made up of the House Freedom Caucus. On Saturday, after both the House and Senate passed the bill known as the “Fiscal Responsibility Act,” Biden signed it into law.
The bill suspends the debt limit until January 2025 and implements restraints on spending that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would reduce budget deficits by $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
Referring to some of the opponents of the deal, Graves said, “Folks went out and began attempting to define a deal while we were still in negotiations. There wasn’t even an agreement struck and their interpretation or definition of the agreement, as you can imagine, was flawed.”
McCarthy is “one of the best strategists we’ve ever had” who has helped bring “about 10 huge wins this year,” Graves said.
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