The House Could Become Even More of a Wild West This Year

Rep. Matt Gaetz and other members confer on the House floor after a vote on the speaker of the House Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

A lot can change in a few weeks.

In December, GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy answered with a flat no when asked if he would commit to bringing spending bills forward under open rules as speaker of the House. But now, with his speakership bid in peril, McCarthy’s opponents say he has agreed to do just that. 

The move would allow extended debate and consideration of member amendments on the House floor—and in a chamber this closely divided, it may spark pandemonium as unlikely coalitions vie for their priorities.

The agreement is just one of the concessions McCarthy has made to his detractors in an attempt to become speaker, and more may come. Rep. Ralph Norman, a South Carolina Republican who has opposed McCarthy in each of the 11 ballots for speaker thus far, described the concessions as “round one.”

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