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House Passes Rules Package

In his first scheduled vote since he was elected the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy has passed a major rules bill to the floor with just one vote of disapproval.

The extensive rules set out in the document imposes restrictions on the manner in which funding bills may be approved as well as imposes restrictions on passing legislation to the House. It was a 220-214 vote with Texas Republican, Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas, being the only Republican who voted against it.

The recently adopted rules contain a provision that allows House Freedom Caucus members to get 3 of 9 seats in the House Rules Committee, which sets the rules for how bills are introduced on the table and how they may be changed.

The rule-of-laws package formed a part of a highly-publicized compromise reached through talks with conservatives who opposed McCarthy's nomination as Speaker. This agreement that Rep. Chip Roy of Texas and other members of the House helped push over the line is a key element in McCarthy being able to get the Speaker's chair.

Another significant win in favor of fiscal conservatism was their “cut-as-you-go” policy that was approved.

The package also contains the return of a “Cut-As-You-Go” policy that says legislation is not taken into consideration if it increases the amount of mandatory spending over a five or 10-year timeframe. The “CUTGO” policy requires bills which call for additional spending to offset spending reductions elsewhere within the federal budget, an innovative new way to limit federal spending that is part of the Republicans plan to end the accumulation of trillions of dollars of annual new debt.

The vote is a win on behalf of McCarthy as well as the conservatives that blocked his nomination as Speaker. This is also a turning moment in the House in which conservatives will enjoy more influence over the legislative process and the rules.

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