A small group of hardline Republicans forced a House floor vote to fail on Wednesday afternoon in an apparent shot at Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., for working with Democrats on a bipartisan path to avoiding a government shutdown.
Tensions flared in the Capitol as Republicans rebelled against their own party on a normally sleepy procedural vote.
It was followed by what appeared to be a heated confrontation between Johnson and Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, who has been leading criticism of the GOP leader since the government spending deal was announced.
Both men were visibly animated, pointing at times and shaking their heads as the group of lawmakers and staffers around them grew larger.
Thirteen members of the House Freedom Caucus and their allies voted against Republicans to sink what’s known as a rule vote, a major public setback for House Republican leaders as they deal with just a two-seat majority right now.
A rule vote is a procedural measure made to clear the way for an ultimate House vote on a bill’s passage. It’s historically unusual for them to fail; before the current Congress, a rule had not failed since 2002. Republican hardliners have weaponized rule votes several times last year.
This story is breaking and will be updated…
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