Rep. Andrew Clyde dropped a bombshell bit of information on the behind-the-scenes arm twisting from House Republican leadership on the debt ceiling fight, telling War Room host Steve Bannon that he was told by at least one unnamed member that his bill to stop the ATF’s new pistol brace rule from being enforced would be held in limbo unless he cast an assenting vote to the debt ceiling package crafted by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the Biden administration.
BREAKING: @Rep_Clyde says Republican leadership threatened to BLOCK his repeal of the ATF’s unconstitutional "pistol brace" ban if he didn't vote for the rule on the Biden-McCarthy-Massie debt deal. pic.twitter.com/4gnt1l4oFv
— Citizens for Renewing America (@amrenewcitizen) June 2, 2023
“I was called about 12:30 or so on Wednesday and I was told by leadership that if I didn’t vote for the rule that it would be very difficult to bring my bill to the floor. Now remember, the bill that I have is H.J. Res 44, this is the pistol brace rule. This is a bill that takes down the overreach by the ATF . The ATF is trying to become Congress here and create a law that they don’t have the authority to create. A law that makes felons out of tens of thousands, actually millions if you look at what CRS (Congressional Research Service) says about how many pistol brace owners there are.”
Despite the heavy-handed attempt to corral Clyde’s vote, the congressman was one of 70 Republicans and and 46 Democrats voting against the debt ceiling legislation. Coincidentally or not, H.J. Res 44 has not been heard on the House floor despite the fact that the new pistol brace rule is now in effect… at least for those gun owners who aren’t members of the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Gun Owners of America, all of whom have now been granted at least temporary relief by federal judges who’ve issued partial injunctions against the rule’s enforcement.
Several of Clyde’s colleagues have weighed in since the congressman’s disclosure, and they’re not happy about the swampy nature of leadership’s demands.
This is the Swamp at work.
— Rep. Eli Crane (@RepEliCrane) June 2, 2023
— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) June 2, 2023
Clyde opposed McCarthy as House Speaker through eleven ballots before ultimately switching his vote back in January, and has been critical of McCarthy at times since then, especially over the debt ceiling negotiations. That may very well have pushed “leadership” into playing hardball with Clyde over the pistol brace resolution, but if so it’s precisely this kind of politicking that has left many conservatives disenchanted with the Republican establishment.
Now that Clyde’s gone public with his accusation, will McCarthy schedule H.J. Res 44 for a floor vote or continue to keep it off the schedule, as he did during the debt ceiling negotiations despite the resolution having the backing of 188 members of the GOP caucus and the urging of Second Amendment groups? The smart move would be to move the resolution forward, even if its prospects of passage in the Senate are slim. Not only is Clyde’s revelation going to cause a lot of consternation among gun owners and 2A orgs, but it’s simply the right thing to do. The ATF’s pistol brace rule really is an example of an executive branch agency usurping congressional powers, and they should be called out for it regardless of any personality or political conflicts between McCarthy and Clyde.
We’ll be talking with Rep. Clyde on next Tuesday’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, and hopefully we’ll have seen some movement on H.J. Res 44 by then. McCarthy won his debt ceiling fight, and it’s now long past time for the pistol brace resolution to get a full debate and vote on the House floor.