GOP Lawmakers Voted Against Debating Bill to Protect Gas Stoves After Threat to Debt Ceiling Package: Rep. Norman

GOP Lawmakers Voted Against Debating Bill to Protect Gas Stoves After Threat to Debt Ceiling Package: Rep. Norman
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) attends a hearing with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, on Nov. 16, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Joshua Philipp

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) said that he and 10 other House Republicans recently voted against debating a bill to prevent a ban on gas stoves in part owing to a threat related to the debt ceiling legislation.

“Last week during the debate, on passing the [debt ceiling] package that was sent to the Senate, one of our members was threatened,” Norman told EpochTV’s “Crossroads“ program. ”And actually several [members] were threatened that if you voted against the bill, they’re going to take down specific rules.”

“The very important bill that leadership threatened to not put on the calendar is the pistol brace rule that [Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.)] had put forward,” he added.

“And it just wasn’t right, what they did. It was supposed to be on the calendar this week. They’ve since said they’re gonna put it back on the calendar, but just the thought of taking a bill off the calendar because somebody didn’t vote one way, it’s just not right.”

Clyde has also previously accused GOP leadership of putting pressure on him to vote for the debt ceiling bill when he was attempting to debate a bill that would block the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ pistol brace rule. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) on June 6 denied making such a threat.

The vote on June 6 to bring the bill to protect gas stoves to debate came in at 206–220, making it the first procedural vote to fail in nearly two decades.

‘Lingering Mistrust’ in GOP Leadership

Norman added that there were two other reasons the members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of 11 Republicans, decided to vote “no” on bringing the gas stove ban bill to debate.

One is that the vote was spontaneous, and the other is owing to “lingering mistrust” in the House leadership, in part over how they handled the debt ceiling legislation.

President Joe Biden signed the debt ceiling package—the Fiscal Responsibility Act—into law on June 3 following a months-long standoff between him and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over raising the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.

Norman said there was a large disparity between what Republicans initially sought in the debt ceiling bill compared to the final result. “What we started with versus what we ended up with were two different things.”

“We had talked to Speaker McCarthy about [how] the appropriations is where he could weigh in and really exercise some influence to cut spending. Economic security is national security, and we just don’t have it, the bill that passed does little of nothing,” he said. “In particular, it was so different from what we had sent to the House and for him to negotiate. So there’s a lot of things that came to a head.”

The congressman expressed disappointment at how the bill was passed.

“They couldn’t pass it with [support from] Republicans [alone]. The original bill had 218 votes, yet they [ultimately] passed the bill with more Democrats,” he said.

The final vote on the debt ceiling bill in the House was 314 to 117, with 165 Democrats and 149 Republicans in support.

“If you had been inside the chambers and saw the vote the board all of a sudden you know, it was going down to defeat, all of a sudden they got Democrats on board and so you basically had more Democrats’ support and then Republicans,” Norman said. “And we [Republicans] should have been included in the process and it should be more debate rather than the way it came down, [which] was [that] all the Republicans got a call that said ‘This is what we negotiated, take it or leave it.’ ... It shouldn’t play out [like that]. We’ve got a four seat majority. ... Leadership can’t sail on their own, [they should] have some buy in from all of us. Not that we’re going to agree on everything.”

Bill to Protect Gas Stoves ‘Will Come Back Up’

Norman emphasized that the vote to stop debate on the gas stoves ban doesn’t mean the bill is done for.

“To vote on a rule, it means it allows it to proceed forward to let the body vote on it, and it doesn’t mean it’s dead, it can come back up, and it will come back up,” he said.

“What the Biden administration is doing with gas stoves is not right, so I agree with the bill. It’s just, it was everything kind of came together at one time. And we just said, well, ‘we‘ll slow this thing down,’ and I think we’ll eventually come to a conclusion.

“There’s nothing magic about this. In Washington, everything moves slowly. And let’s say we’d voted on it yesterday. It takes time to get the bill up and out and to the Senate, which is just going to sit. So it’s not really a delay, but it is something we felt strongly about. And again, it came up spontaneously.”

Jackson Richman contributed to this report.
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