House leaders canceled planned votes for the rest of the week amid a revolt by conservative members that brought any votes on the House floor to a halt.
“What we’re gonna do is we’re gonna come back on Monday, work through it and be back working for the American public,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday evening.
He said his goal is “to try to work this out by the end of the night.”
A group of 11 conservatives sunk a procedural rule vote Tuesday in a stunning rebuke to GOP leadership, fueled by anger over the debt limit bill negotiated by McCarthy and President Biden, who signed it into law over the weekend.
Leaders were forced to keep the House in recess for the bulk of Wednesday before canceling votes. Members had been scheduled to hold last House votes for the week Thursday no later than 3 p.m.
If they continue to vote against the rule resolutions governing debate on the House floor, conservatives can prevent leaders from bringing up any party-line measures for a vote.
Talks between members of the House Freedom Caucus who sunk the rule and GOP leaders were not fruitful, forcing leaders to keep the House in recess for the bulk of Wednesday before canceling a planned second shot at bringing up the rule — which would have allowed floor votes on gas stoves and regulatory reforms.
McCarthy said that while the conservative members were frustrated, they were not making specific requests.
“This is the difficulty. Some of these members, they don’t know what to ask for,” McCarthy said.
The Speaker earlier in the day insisted that the House GOP will work through this dispute and emerge stronger, and again downplayed the impasse Wednesday evening.
“Just like every time we go through it here — We’ve got a small majority. There’s a little chaos going on,” McCarthy said. “But the focus I always keep is right in front of the windshield of the American public and we’re gonna work to solve the American public’s problems.”
McCarthy also noted that members had returned to Washington last week during a scheduled recess in order to vote on the debt limit bill — and he referenced the musky smoke that engulfed Washington, D.C., Wednesday as a result of wildfires in Canada.
“There are some problems with the smog out there and some airports,” McCarthy said. “People are not gonna be able to get home. So as it progresses further, I’ll let them be able to get home.”
Updated at 7:06 p.m.