McCarthy’s murky deal with the hard right

By | January 10, 2023

Aaron Blake writes:

When House Republicans on Monday night passed the rules that would govern the chamber for the next two years, Speaker Kevin McCarthy hailed the supposed win for transparency.


Even as he was doing so, though, McCarthy (R-Calif.) was being rather opaque about the agreement that had gotten him to that point: namely, the parameters of a still-mysterious deal he cut with the hard-right Freedom Caucus to secure its members’ votes in the speaker election.

Punchbowl News on Monday first reported the existence of a three-page document outlining the terms, which it referred to as an “addendum.” The whole thing remains shrouded in mystery: McCarthy is now reportedly denying the existence of an official “addendum.” But some members have confirmed they’ve seen such a document, and top McCarthy allies have either talked around its existence or flatly declined to discuss the matter.

The chairman of the House Rules Committee, key McCarthy ally Tom Cole (R-Okla.), spoke about it as if it was a mystery to him. “I’m sure it exists, because I read about it from you guys [in the press] all the time,” he told Axios on Monday. “It has to be out there.”

Added Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.): “I’m not at liberty to discuss whether I’ve seen it or not.” [Continue reading…]

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