Latest News 31-01-2024 00:05 5 Views

Speaker Johnson faces new GOP rebellion, this time from moderates

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House GOP leaders are potentially staring down a new rebellion within the Republican Conference – this time from front-line moderates in New York and California.

Republicans who represent the politically fickle suburbs outside major cities there and elsewhere are frustrated that Congress’ tax bill does not touch state and local tax (SALT) deductions.

Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y., who represents part of Long Island, suggested to reporters on Tuesday morning that he and his colleagues would even consider deliberately taking down GOP bills by voting against procedural measures known as 'rule' votes.

'We’re gonna assess all of our options,' LaLota said. 'I want to be in a conference where I live on a two-way street, where my input is valued, my constituents’ input is valued. I voted for a lot of things over the last 13 or 14 months, helped out a lot of my teammates.'

He said his coalition was currently in talks with the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, which has weaponized rule votes several times this Congress to protest GOP leadership’s handling of government spending.

'There's an odd coalition that's formed between Freedom Caucus members and the SALT caucus members,' he said. 'Like me, they’re frustrated about the process. We want this to be a member-driven conference, the speaker promised us that.'

That opposition to the tax bill is likely to prompt Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to bring it for a vote under suspension, which bypasses the procedural rule vote in exchange for raising the threshold for passage to two-thirds rather than a simple majority. With the GOP’s two-seat majority, that means they’ll need Democratic votes.

Many SALT Republicans were quick to point out that they represent moderate districts, including those won by President Biden in 2020, and argued that a failure to address SALT – specifically raising the current $10,000 deduction cap – could cost Republicans the majority.

'Yeah, very much so,' one source close to SALT discussions told Fox News Digital when asked if those members were angry at being sidelined.

'There have been meetings, we've had conversations, and effectively what we're hearing from the speaker's office is, we would love to help you, but you know, effectively having SALT in there would kill the bill,' the source said. 'But the reality is, is that the guy is most affected by this issue or this tax bill and with this issue out of it are the swing seats.'

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., another lawmaker in SALT discussions, said he disagreed with tanking rule votes but understood the frustration.

'As a team, we should be passing rules, letting things come to the floor for a vote,' he said. 'But I understand the frustration that the New Yorkers are feeling obviously on this issue.'

Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., was blunt with his anger despite indicating support for the existing parts of the tax bill.

'To not include a SALT fix is idiotic, and it’s political malpractice,' Lawler said. 'The failure to include that provision in this tax bill was foolish.'

Three sources told Fox News Digital late last week that Johnson intends to bring the bill to the floor this week for a vote under suspension, but so far it has not been noted in the legislative calendar.

Johnson did not say whether he intends to bring the bill for a vote this week when asked by Fox News Digital on Tuesday.

Fox News' Tyler Olsen contributed to this report.


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