Revolt from Republican hardliners shuts down US House of Representatives until next week

The US House of Representatives is postponing all votes until next week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said.

His announcement comes after a revolt from the right of his own Republican Party paralysed their efforts to pass legislation in Washington DC.

The stand-off between Mr McCarthy and Republican hardliners has forced the House into a holding pattern that looks likely to continue until at least Monday.

He said on Wednesday: "We're going to come back on Monday, work through it and be back up for the American public.

"Some of these members, they don't know what to ask for. There's numerous different things that they're frustrated about, so we'll listen to them."

Republicans from the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, largely loyal to former president Donald Trump, joined forces with Democratic Party representatives on Tuesday to block two bills that would prevent the federal government from putting new regulations on gas stoves.

Freedom Caucus members have also been upset over the bipartisan debt ceiling bill that Mr McCarthy brokered with Democratic President Joe Biden, as well as claims that some of their number had been threatened over their opposition to the deal.

They argue that Mr McCarthy violated the terms of an agreement reached in January that allowed him to secure their support for his troubled bid to become speaker.

However, it is not clear which aspects in particular he is alleged to have reneged on.

Days of closed-door negotiations have not yet led to a resolution, but Mr McCarthy says he is confident they will come to terms.

Having only a narrow Republican majority of 222-213, means that he can only afford to lose four votes from his own party on any measure that faces uniform Democratic opposition.

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Along with the gas stove bills, the dispute also has delayed legislation that would increase congressional scrutiny of regulations and expand the scope of judicial review of federal agencies.

The paralysis is causing some Republicans to grow frustrated, with Representative Steve Womack of Arkansas saying: "You've got a small group of people who are p***** off that are keeping the House of Representatives from functioning.

"This is insane. This is not the way a governing majority is expected to behave, and frankly, I think there will be a political cost to it."

The hardliners were among the 71 Republicans who opposed debt ceiling legislation that was passed by the House last week.

They say Mr McCarthy did not secure enough cuts to spending and that he "retaliated" against at least one of their members.

Mr McCarthy and other House Republican leaders have dismissed the retaliation claims.