House Staffers Won’t Be Paid If This Happens

According to recently disclosed guidelines, for the first time, House officials described how a delayed vote for speaker would affect particular personnel. 

Per the memo addressed to House committees, if a House rules bill is not enacted by the close of business on January 13, no committee will be allowed to process wages since the committee’s power for the new Congress won’t have yet been established. 

Students Loans As Well

Furthermore, according to the instructions, committees will not be allowed to handle repayments of student loans if the House has not accepted a rules package outlining the chamber’s operations for next year by the 13th of January.

Therefore, House workers registered in the 10-year student debt forgiveness program may experience service interruptions, which might impair their eligibility for retirement and debt forgiveness. 

McCarthy is still attempting to secure the 218 votes he needs to claim the House gavel on January 3. The memo arrives days before the vote on January 3.

The Republican from California risks an open revolt among Republicans, with five GOP legislators declaring they would vote against him and numerous more still undecided as they seek incentives from leadership.

McCarthy can only be able to lose a maximum of four party votes. 

Notwithstanding Republican optimism that the party could quickly move forward on various probes upon taking the House majority, the effect on committee personnel is only one of many domino consequences of the conference’s fight for speaker.

Existing Chairs

Some panels already have Republican chairs in place, such as Rep. James Comer, who has been selected to lead the House Oversight Committee.

McCarthy has postponed decisions on a number of disputed races, including who will lead the party’s top tax-writing team and who will control the border agency, until the speaker’s campaign concludes next month. 

In these instances, the Republican committee member with the most seniority serves as the de facto interim chair.

According to the new instructions, these senior politicians must identify which existing committee employees — from the majority and minority parties — will remain once the new Congress begins on Jan. 3 until House Republicans pick a new chair.

During the interim period from January 3 and the appointment of the committee chair, it is expected that continuing staff members will keep carrying out their official responsibilities. 

Concerns about a legal and executive backlog are sparked by the fact the House cannot approve a new regulations package or legally authorize committee jurisdiction until a speaker is chosen.

McCarthy or whoever is the speaker the next year also picks House Intelligence Committee members.

In addition, the speaker would appoint Republicans to head the House Administration Committee, which oversees Capitol security, and the House Rules Committee, which helps rule the floor. 

House Republican ranks have pondered for weeks the implications a prolonged speaker’s race may have on panels and their employees. Rep. David Joyce stated he raised the problem in a GOP meeting behind closed doors earlier this month.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick earlier told Politico “the only outstanding issue right now is staff financing” as Republicans prepare for the vote on January 3.