Saturday, January 07, 2023

Brecheen and 'Tenacious Twenty' extract transformative rules changes from McCarthy

It's an auspicious start to his time in Congress. Freshman Representative Josh Brecheen (OK-02) and nineteen fellow conservatives played hardball with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy -- and extracted some truly transformative rules changes before supporting McCarthy's bid for House Speaker.

It was an historic occassion, with the Speaker vote going to 15 rounds for the first time since 1860. Negotiations between McCarthy and the twenty conservatives didn't start to move things until the 12th round, at which point it became clear that a satisfactory end had been reached. 

This was a huge victory for conservatives, and was only possible because Brecheen and his allies held to their guns.

Here are the 'Tenacious Twenty':

  • Andy Biggs (R-AZ)
  • Dan Bishop (R-NC)
  • Lauren Boebert (R-CO)
  • Josh Brecheen (R-OK)
  • Michael Cloud (R-TX)
  • Andrew Clyde (R-GA)
  • Eli Crane (R-AZ)
  • Byron Donalds (R-FL)
  • Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
  • Bob Good (R-VA)
  • Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
  • Andy Harris (R-MD)
  • Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL)
  • Mary Miller (R-IL)
  • Ralph Norman (R-SC)
  • Andy Ogles (R-TN)
  • Scott Perry (R-PA)
  • Matt Rosendale (R-MT)
  • Chip Roy (R-TX)
  • Keith Self (R-TX)

In a statement yesterday afternoon, Brecheen said, "After days of intense deliberations, I cast my vote today for Kevin McCarthy for Speaker after he agreed to conservative reforms to how the House of Representatives operates. What we have agreed to is transformative and will allow conservatives to rein in out-of-control spending."

He continued, "As I have said before, I did not come to Washington to preserve the status quo. I came here to reform Congress and fix the reckless spending that has plagued our country. I believe this agreement will help put us on the right track."

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) said, "We changed the way bills will be passed. We changed the way the government will be funded. We changed the way committees will be formed. We secured votes on term limits, the fair tax, the Texas Border Plan, and so much more."

Among the rules changes that seem to have been part of the agreement (I haven't found a consistent listing of all of them yet, haha) are the following:

  • A privileged motion to vacate the chair requiring just one member; an accountability measure to hold McCarthy to his word
  • A vote on a congressional term limits amendment
  • Requiring single-subject bills
  • Open amendment process
  • Debt ceiling increase must be tied to spending cuts
  • A cap on discretionary spending at FY22 levels
  • 72 hours to review bills before floor voting
  • McCarthy-aligned leadership PAC to stay out of "safe GOP" open seat primaries (like the Brecheen-Frix primary in Oklahoma this past election)
  • 12 appropriations bills as opposed to appropriation-by-omnibus
  • Freedom Caucus members of the House Rules Commitee
  • An investigatory committee to look into government scandals, like the FBI, big tech collusion, COVID origins, etc
Some of these changes simply return the House to business as usual before Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi; i.e. how things operated for decades before recent changes that made the Speaker's office more powerful and authoritarian. These changes could go a long way toward making the House actually work and give the individual members some power back that was stripped from them by dictatorial speakers.

Kudos to Brecheen and the rest of the Tenacious Twenty conservatives. A promising start to the congressional term, to be certain.


  1. Thank you for all that you did. I'm not a nail biter but it was getting close!

  2. Well done, Congressman Brecheen,Dr Coburn would be proud
    Clarence Woods


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