Congressman Dan Bishop, R-NC8, was in the spotlight yesterday not only for his opposition to the debt ceiling agreement reached by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden, but also for challenging McCarthy’s capability in his position as speaker.
Bishop, a member of the Freedom Caucus, said he had “zero confidence” in McCarthy, adding, “What basis is there for confidence?”
The debt-ceiling bill would suspend the country’s $31.4 trillion debt limit through Jan. 1, 2025, taking it past the 2024 presidential election. It rescinds about $28 billion in unspent Covid relief funds. It would eliminate $1.4 billion in IRS funding and shift about $20 billion of the $80 billion provided to the agency through the Inflation Reduction Act to non-defense funds. After a more than three-year suspension, student loan payments would also resume after August.
Also, work requirements would not be added for those on Medicaid, but there are changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). People currently eligible for SNAP do not have work requirements after age 50. The deal would raise the age to 54. Work requirements would also be eliminated for veterans and the homeless who receive SNAP benefits.
Bishop told Sean Hannity on his show last night that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released information about the “so-called” work requirements that were added to food stamps and temporary assistance for needy families. Bishop said the additional categories of exemptions added in the bill’s language will drive the cost up by $2.1 billion.
“I was just in the conference earlier this evening, and Mr. McCarthy’s negotiator talked about the provision on the IRS. It turns out to be $1.4 billion, not $1.9 as they claimed, but it doesn’t do anything to stop them from hiring staff with the remaining $78.6 billion hiring new IRS agents this year,” he said.
Bishop called it a “career-defining vote for every Republican.” He said the bill is full of “cosmetic things and things that have been lied about, like IRS funding.” He also said removing it as an issue during the 2024 presidential election would cause an issue.
“How could you more successfully kneecap any Republican president than to take that issue out of his or her hands?” he told reporters Tuesday.
Bishop also talked about actions that would oust McCarthy from his position as speaker.
He was the first House Republican to state that he was considering a “motion to vacate the chair,” which would trigger a vote of no confidence that could oust McCarthy with a simple majority.
Bishop initially voted against McCarthy for speaker in January but eventually flipped his vote on the 12th ballot on Jan. 6.
Fellow Republican North Carolinian Rep. Patrick McHenry, a McCarthy deputy who helped negotiate the deal, said the bill has “The biggest set of spending cuts and a substantial change from the spending of the last two years for this administration.”
Democrat Reps. Wiley Nickel and Don Davis, and Republican Reps. Richard Hudson and Greg Murphy reportedly said they would vote in favor of the bill. Democrat Rep. Deborah Ross also supports the bill but will not be able to vote for it as she is recovering from COVID-19.
It’s unknown how Democratic Reps. Jeff Jackson or Alma Adams will vote on the bill.
The House is expected to vote on the bill around 8:30 EST May 31.