House Republican blasts Freedom Caucus with expletives for stonewalling on legislation
The hard-right caucus blocked a procedural vote last week.
Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis., slammed the House Freedom Caucus and hardline conservatives for blocking a procedural vote pertaining to gas stove legislation last week amid their ongoing battle with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, invoking his ailing daughter to make his point.
Referencing his daughter fighting cancer, Van Orden had harsh words for the Freedom Caucus holdouts: "[I show] up to work every f------ day," he said in a closed-door meeting, referring to the four legislative days the House went without a floor vote, sources told ABC News.
The exchange continued to heat up and became more personal as Van Orden defended his legislative agenda, citing his work on a train bill that he felt was overlooked, sources said.
"It's not the s--- that gets on Fox News," he said, according to the sources.
On his way out of the meeting, Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the hardline conservative holdouts, was resistant to talk about Orden's comments, only saying, "I'm not for everyone."
Leadership was also relatively mum about the lively conference meeting. When asked whether there was drama in the room, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said, "No" and described what transpired behind the closed doors as "a little bit of fun."
Last week, the Freedom Caucus took the rare step of teaming up with Democrats to scuttle a procedural vote on the GOP's push to prevent gas stove bans, marking the first time in nearly 21 years that a rule vote has failed to pass the House.
"We're not going to live in the era of the imperial speaker anymore," Gaetz told reporters after he voted against the rule Tuesday.
The procedural step, H.R. 463, would have provided for the consideration of House Resolutions 1640 and 1615. H.R. 1640, the "Save Our Gas Stoves Act," would prohibit the Department of Energy from finalizing the energy efficiency rules for gas stoves. H.R. 1615, the "Gas Stove Freedom and Protection Act," would prohibit the Consumer Product Safety Commission from banning gas stoves as a hazardous product or issuing any product safety standard that would prohibit the sale of gas stoves or make them significantly more expensive.
The CPSC said in January it had no plans to ban gas stoves, although similar efforts have advanced at the state level, such as a law in New York banning natural gas stoves and furnaces in most new buildings.
Last month, Freedom Caucus members joined with hardliners in both parties to vote against the debt ceiling deal McCarthy negotiated with President Joe Biden. McCarthy relied on the support of 52 Democrats to counteract the 29 Republican defectors on that vote in order to pass the agreement -- and the arrangement led to fears of retaliation against members who voted against the bill. Rep. Andrew Clyde told reporters that GOP leadership threatened not to bring up one of his sponsored bills if he voted against the debt ceiling rule.
The House had been at a standstill since the procedural vote was defeated last week, but floor action resumed Tuesday afternoon after the Freedom Caucus and McCarthy smoothed over relations Monday night.