House Republicans’ battle over the speaker’s gavel may have an unintended victim: their staff.
New guidelines sent to committees on Thursday and EXCLUSIVELY OBTAINED BY POLITICO Draw a messy, complicated process for how the speaker’s race will have trickle-down effects on everything from pay committee staff to student loan repayment. amid a protracted battle between the speaker, which members expect could go on many ballots and even last days, and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthyMany employees are facing uncertainty over the next term due to Punt’s decision to contest for the post of chairman of the committee.
And the guidance — provided by the House Administration Committee and sent by the House chief administrative officer — points to a big warning date: Jan. 13.
According to the sent memo, “Committees need to know that should the House Rules Package not be adopted by the end of business on January 13, no committee will be able to process payroll because committee authority for the new Congress has yet to be passed.” Not confirmed yet.” House committees.
In addition, according to the guidance, if the House has not adopted a rules package by the end of January 13 that outlines how the chamber will run next year, the committees will not be able to process student loan repayments. That means House employees enrolled in the 10-year student loan forgiveness program could face a break in service, which could affect both retirement and whether they are eligible for loan forgiveness.
The memo comes just days before the Jan. 3 vote, with McCarthy still working to lock down the 218 votes he’ll need to claim the House gavel. California Republicans are facing an open rebellion among conservatives, with five GOP lawmakers saying they’ll vote against him and many more remaining on the fence as they try to win concessions Leadership. McCarthy could only afford the loss of four votes within his party.
The effect on committee staff is one of many domino effects of the convention speaker’s struggle, Republicans hope that regardless of party Can proceed immediately on as many investigations as it takes a majority of the House.
Some committees already have GOP chairs waiting, such as Rep. james comer (R-Q.) is being tapped to lead the House Oversight Committee. But McCarthy balked at a handful of contested decisions, including one to lead the party’s top tax-writing panel and another that will oversee agencies handling the border, until the speaker’s race ends next month. caste.
For those panels, the most senior Republican member serving on the committee serves as the de facto interim chair. would be required to designate senior lawmakers who would remain on the current committee staff — from both majority and minority parties — after the new Congress begins on Jan. 3, unless House Republicans select a new chair, according to the new guidance . Staffers who are staying in the new Congress are expected to continue to perform their official duties in the interim period between Jan. 3 and after the committee chair is appointed.
House cannot adopt new rules package Or formally green-light committee authority until the speaker is selected, raising concerns about the legislative and administrative backlog. McCarthy, or whoever is speaker next year, also appoints members of the House Intelligence Committee. In addition, the speaker will tap Republicans to lead the House Rules Committee, which helps control the floor, and the House Administration Committee, which oversees Capitol security.
Questions about the impact a lengthy speaker battle could have on committees and committee staff have swirled among House GOP ranks for weeks.
repealed. David Joyce (R-Ohio) said he raised the issue at a closed-door GOP meeting earlier this month. Meanwhile, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) previously told POLITICO that as Republicans prepare for the Jan. 3 vote, “an open question right now is staff funding.”
Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.
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