While House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) experienced a significant intraparty backlash in his bid to achieve the leadership position earlier this year, one prominent member of the House Freedom Caucus broke with fellow right-wing lawmakers to support him.
Now, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is again coming to McCarthy’s defense in response to a deal he struck with the White House to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
The measure passed in the GOP-led House earlier this week despite opposition from dozens of Republican lawmakers. Greene shot back at those on her side of the aisle who voted against the bill.
“I live in reality, not conservative fantasy land,” she said.
Furthermore, she accused legislators who stood up against the bipartisan deal on ideological grounds of being unable to “understand how to be successful.”
Other House Republicans, including fellow members of the Freedom Caucus, were clear in their denunciation of the terms agreed upon by McCarthy and the Biden administration.
“This deal fails — fails completely — and that’s why these members and others will be absolutely opposed to the deal and we will do everything in our power to stop it,” declared caucus chairman Scott Perry (R-PA) on the day before the House vote.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), another caucus member, insisted: “Not one Republican should vote for this deal — not one.”
Some opponents of the measure have even suggested that there will be an effort to remove McCarthy from his post as speaker.
Matt Gaetz means business:
"If a majority of Republicans are against a piece of legislation, and you use Democrats to pass it, that would immediately be a black letter violation of the deal we had with McCarthy, and it would likely trigger an immediate motion to vacate." pic.twitter.com/ePseEHsCFy
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) May 30, 2023
“And so, after this vote — and he will win the vote tonight — but after this vote, we will have discussions about whether there should be a motion to vacate or not,” said Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) on Wednesday.
McCarthy has repeatedly expressed his gratitude and allegiance to Greene for her support throughout a contentious speakership bid.
“I will never leave that woman,” he said earlier this year. “I will always take care of her.”
He went on to assert that the Georgia Republican is the person “you want in your foxhole” during a fight.
“When she picks a fight, she’s going to fight until the fight’s over,” McCarthy effused. “She reminds me of my friends from high school, that we’re going to stick together all the way through.”