One House Republican has made sure to openly deny any and all existence of a secret “addendum” to the recently passed rules package which will govern the lower chamber over the course of the next two years.
Prior to the voting that happened Monday night, Rep. French Hill (R-AR) stated briefly while on the House floor in order to address a number of reports about there being a three-page section of additional provisions that had not been made available to the public, which led to Democrats shouting about their worries in regard to transparency.
“There is no addendum to this package … There’s no three-page addendum. There’s no extra stuff. Everything in the House rules package is posted on the House website,” stated Hill.
Earlier that same day, PunchBowl News issued a report about House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and his allies negotiated worked out a “secret three-page addendum” in order to work with the House Freedom Caucus so as to secure the support of its members. “This pact includes the most controversial concessions McCarthy made in order to become speaker – three seats on the Rules Committee for conservatives, freezing spending at FY2022 levels, a debt-ceiling strategy, coveted committee assignments and more,” explained the report.
The Wall Street Journal also pulled information from two people who were very familiar with negotiations that “said that any agreement Mr. McCarthy made with his onetime detractors wouldn’t be released in writing ahead of the rules vote, and maybe not ever.”
A number of Democrat members fo Congress rushed to social media to whine about the events and bring awareness about the reporting.
“There is a secret three page addendum to the House Rules that secured the support of the wackiest members of the House and the American public deserves to know what’s in it,” stated Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) in one post.
There is a secret three page addendum to the House Rules that secured the support of the wackiest members of the House and the American public deserves to know what’s in it.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 9, 2023
Despite the strong denial by Hill, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), who works as a member of the Steering Committee, reportedly stated to Axios that his office was “taking a look at” the new addendum. Calvery also claimed that he did not know if each member ended up getting a copy.
At least one GOP office apparently has the much-fabled 3-page House rules addendum.
“We’re taking a look at it … we’re just going through it,” Rep. Ken Calvert, a Steering Committee member, tells @Axios
Asked if members have received a copy: “I don’t know if everybody has.”
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) January 9, 2023
One 55-page document is available for the public to read online which outlines the new rules set up for the 118th Congress after securing a slim majority in the 2022 midterm elections.
Due to Democrats being expected to vote in a bloc against the whole thing, Republican leadership can only afford to lose out on just a few votes. Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-TX) stated that he is entirely against it, while Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) swapped from his previous stance of being “on the fence” to stating that she will not be issuing a vote of “yes.”
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) rejected his denial. “I know it exists. It’ll come out sooner or later,” he stated, adding, “It would be nice if there was a little more transparency and openness from the other side.”