WASHINGTON — After a grueling five-day, 15-ballot fight for the presidency, House Republicans will face Monday night what is expected to be the first of many tough legislative battles ahead: passing a package of rules that will govern the way they run the Chamber. for the next two years.

A package of rules at the start of a new Congress is generally uncontroversial, but given the fragile GOP majority and concerns about Chairman Kevin McCarthy’s last-minute deal with the far-right Freedom Caucus, Republican vote counters Republican Party are working furiously to hold the line. .

A member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, Rep. Tony Gonzeles, R-Texas, said some of McCarthy’s concessions to conservative agitators went too far and reiterated Sunday that he will vote no. Another self-described pragmatist, Rep. Nancy Mace, RS.C., said over the weekend that she is «on the fence.»

«This is just the beginning. This is the easy part.[s], the speaker votes and the rules vote,” Gonzales said on Fox News on Monday. “But I guarantee you that no one expected 15 rounds of voting. … Nobody said that it will be four days, 15 rounds of voting and that their families will go through the stamp.

«As bad as it was to see it, it was even worse to be a part of it,» Gonzales continued. «Who wants to see this fiasco repeat itself over and over again?»

Due to their slim majority, McCarthy’s leadership team can only afford to lose four Republican votes on the rules package for the new Congress. If it doesn’t pass, it could blow up the delicate deal McCarthy made last week with the Freedom Caucus to secure the speaker’s gavel.

A provision in the rule package, demanded by conservatives and criticized by moderates, would lower the threshold to a single lawmaker to force a full vote to oust McCarthy from the president’s office for the next two years.

Another rule change, secured by conservatives, would ban the practice of automatically raising the federal debt ceiling when Congress passes a budget resolution. It means the House and Senate will have to vote separately to raise the nation’s debt limit, and Republicans have said they will demand massive spending cuts in return.

That will surely result in a fiscal showdown between House Republicans and Democrats, who control the White House and Senate, when the country hits its $31.4 trillion debt limit. What is expected to happen by the end of the summer?.

Republican leaders, including new Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, indicated Monday that they believe Republicans will be able to stick together and pass the rules package.

«Obviously, the rules package is the first piece that allows us to get started on our agenda to fight for the American people,» Scalise told reporters. «And that was the real point of the rule changes, to open up the process.»

Other proposed rule changes in the package include:

  • Require that new spending be offset by cuts in other parts of the budget.
  • Require legislators to have 72 hours to read a bill before it goes before the floor.
  • Allow the House to vote to create a select subcommittee focused on investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the «weaponization of the federal government.»
  • Gut the Congressional Ethics Office, the independent, nonpartisan office that vets lawmakers.

haley talbot contributed.