U.S. House conservatives end stalemate, allowing Clyde gun bill to pass

WASHINGTON — A stalemate in the U.S. House that prevented votes from taking place for nearly a week has ended, at least temporarily.

Far-right Republicans who expressed their displeasure with Speaker Kevin McCarthy by blocking the House from proceeding on legislation agreed Tuesday to allow a revised slate of bills to proceed.

The House then passed a series of GOP-backed measures, including a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Athens, that would prohibit the federal government from requiring registration for pistol braces. The GOP majority also approved legislation to prevent the government from regulating gas stoves, a favorite among conservatives that was one of the first measures that stalled during the far right’s revolt, and a resolution calling on Russia to release imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

Clyde’s pistol brace bill was approved 219-210; Georgia’s delegation split strictly along party lines. Two Democrats crossed party lines to support the measure, and two Republicans voted with the rest of the Democrats against it.

Prior to the vote, Clyde headlined a news conference and said his legislation would stop the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from requiring people to register with the federal government if they have attached stabilizing braces to handguns that allow them to be fired rifle-style.

Afterward, Clyde said he was happy House Republicans were back at work passing conservative legislation.

“I would say that things are moving forward in a very positive direction,” he said.

Clyde was a catalyst for the revolt, in part, because he reported receiving threats that his gun bill wouldn’t make it to the floor because he opposed the debt-limit bill that McCarthy negotiated with President Joe Biden. He later said he received assurances the pistol brace legislation would receive a vote this week, and he did not vote with other hard-liners to block floor action on other legislation.

The next hurdle will be the process just getting underway to fund the federal government for the coming fiscal year, Clyde said. He and other conservatives want to roll back federal spending to 2022 levels, including rescinding any spending that was authorized in future years. For example, they want to claw back the entirety of the roughly $80 billion Congress approved in 2022 to allow the Internal Revenue Service to replenish its workforce and update technology over 10 years.

“Those are things that have to be worked out, and we’re working them out,” Clyde said, noting that he serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee.

There was one low spot for Clyde during Tuesday’s votes. An effort to override a Biden veto of his bill targeting the District of Columbia failed to reach the required two-thirds threshold when all but a dozen Democrats opposed it. That legislation was an attempt to prevent the District of Columbia Council from implementing new policing standards. The changes will now be allowed to take effect.