Any House Republican who votes against the wishes of the majority on the floor will be automatically expelled from the conference, if a new rule proposed by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) is adopted.
McClintock offered the amendment to prevent a handful of Republicans in a slim majority from partnering with Democrats on significant motions like the motion to vacate that was used to remove then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) when eight Republicans voted with a unified bloc of Democrats.
His push for the amendment began Tuesday less than 24 hours before Republicans are expected to vote Wednesday morning on amendments to conference rules. After amendment votes, conference will vote on the Speaker candidates.
McClintock’s rule change would handcuff a dissenting minority of the Republican conference, even as large as 49 percent, to the wishes of the majority.
In a Congress with the current makeup of 221 Republicans and 211 Democrats, only 111 Republican Representatives — or 25.5 percent of the House — could dictate not only who becomes Speaker but, through any potential future rules changes enabled by the new rule, what legislation is brought to the floor.
According to an email sent by a McClintock staffer to Republican legislative directors and obtained by Breitbart News:
The proposed rule would automatically remove members from the Republican Conference if they voted on the House Floor contrary to how the conference votes in conference on Speaker Races, Rules votes, or if they sign a discharge petition without the leave of Conference. There is a method to add members back to the Conference with a 2/3rds majority of Conference voting for them to be added back into the Conference.
Attached to the staff email was a letter known as a “Dear Colleague” from McClintock to Republican Representatives consisting of ten numbered thoughts.
Number 9 on his letter reads, “If [his proposed rule] passes, I believe we should first vote on whether to restore Kevin McCarthy to the office of Speaker.”
It is not immediately clear what threshold of support would be necessary for the conference to adopt the rule.
The email to Republican staff further laid out McClintock’s motivations, saying he “feels that we are at an impasse and that if we do not vote and work in unity then we will continue to squander the Majority. He feels that if this Congress wants to represent the American people we must act as ONE Conference and not a fractured group of individuals.”
McClintock’s proposed rule is below.
Follow Bradley Jaye on Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.