Most of the House Republicans who voted against Kevin McCarthy’s stopgap spending bill Friday have been a thorn in his side since before he was elected speaker. They tend to cluster ideologically on the far-right end of the political spectrum.
About three-quarters of the 21 Republicans who voted against Mr. McCarthy’s temporary spending bill were supported by the campaign arm of the House Freedom Caucus during the 2022 midterms. Six members of the group are serving in Congress for the first time.
Eleven Opposed McCarthy’s Speaker Bid
In January, 20 Republicans nearly derailed Mr. McCarthy’s ambitions to become speaker by voting against him multiple times. Eleven of them were among those who held out against his stopgap funding measure on Friday.
Mr. McCarthy’s five-day, 15-vote floor fight for speaker foreshadowed how hard it would be for him to corral Republican lawmakers to unify behind basic tasks like passing funding bills or raising the federal debt limit.
Notably, Representatives Wesley Hunt of Texas and Ken Buck of Colorado came back to Washington at Mr. McCarthy’s request to vote in his favor for speaker. And Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia aligned herself with Mr. McCarthy during the speaker fight and was ousted from the Freedom Caucus over the summer.
Eighteen Voted Against Suspending the Debt Ceiling
Those predictions came to fruition last spring, as the United States hurtled toward the deadline to raise the government borrowing limit or face default.
With far-right members of his caucus in revolt over suspending the debt ceiling, Mr. McCarthy was forced to negotiate a deal with President Biden, further enraging the already volatile faction.
One-third of the Republican House caucus ultimately opposed the debt deal, including 18 of the 21 members who blocked the temporary measure this week to fund the government. (Ms. Greene and Representative Troy Nehls of Texas voted in favor of raising the debt ceiling, while Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado did not vote.) In another blow to Mr. McCarthy, the bipartisan measure passed with more Democrats than Republicans.
Eight Brought the House to a Standstill in June
The following week, about a dozen rabble-rousers ground the House to a halt by rejecting a procedural measure to set rules for legislative debate, usually a simple party-line vote. They did so to punish Mr. McCarthy for making a deal with Mr. Biden to suspend the debt limit. Eight of the members who refused to support the temporary measure to keep the government running were a part of this group.