WASHINGTON — House Majority Whip Tom Emmer's window to celebrate avoiding a potentially calamitous debt default was short-lived.

The Minnesotan and third-highest ranking House Republican declared during a Tuesday news conference that "Republicans have been succeeding since the beginning of the year."

"Do not underestimate [Speaker] Kevin McCarthy and the House Republicans," Emmer said.

Hours later, Emmer was on the House floor navigating an animated scene in the back of the chamber.

The GOP suffered an embarrassing setback when a small group of Republicans turned on House leadership and helped sink a procedural vote on what's known as a rule, something that according to congressional data hadn't happened in about 20 years.

The rebels were acting in retaliation for the bipartisan debt ceiling deal McCarthy brokered with Democratic President Joe Biden and over other intraparty tensions.

"We've got some trust issues and we've got to get those resolved," said Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett, one of the hard-right lawmakers going against leadership.

Their move prevented any other major votes Tuesday and the day after, and leadership called off plans for Thursday's floor action. The House is not set to return until early next week.

"The extremists in the House Republican Conference have once again taken control of the House floor," Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said at a news conference.

The debt limit bill was signed into law last weekend just before a critical June 5 deadline to avert default. Dealing with the debt ceiling had loomed as a challenge for the GOP for months since the party officially took control of the House earlier this year.

"This was a real tough vote," said Texas GOP Rep. Troy Nehls, who voted for the bipartisan agreement. "You look at the first five months, it was somewhat of a honeymoon."

The move by a vocal sliver of the party to reject leadership in such a public way underlined the difficult task for top Republicans. But McCarthy dismissed any concerns about Emmer's leadership, as the whip tasked with counting votes and building Republican support for legislation in the narrow majority.

"He does a great job," McCarthy told the Star Tribune.

Unease within the GOP was clear when 71 House Republicans, including Minnesota Reps. Michelle Fischbach and Brad Finstad, voted against the temporary suspension of the debt ceiling last week. And while two-thirds of the GOP lawmakers in the chamber voted for the final agreement, more Democrats ended up voting for the bill than Republicans.

While some conservatives criticized McCarthy and GOP Majority Leader Steve Scalise to reporters, Emmer didn't appear to be getting similar pushback.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who also went against leadership on the procedural vote, said Monday night before the logjam began that Emmer has "that Midwestern crankiness that's so endearing." People respect Emmer as a "truth teller," Gaetz said, and "even when we don't like what he has to say, we know he's being honest with us."

But that didn't mean Gaetz saw the debt ceiling vote as a victory for Emmer.

"I don't know if it's a win for any particular politician," said Gaetz, who opposed the bill. "I think it's a loss for the country."

Emmer has charged that Democrats got nothing out of the deal and House Republicans forced Biden to negotiate.

"Our only concession by the way was averting an economic disaster that would have hurt American families and small businesses," Emmer said Tuesday.

Democrats don't view the agreement that way.

"Our goal was to not default and try to preserve the progress that we made when we were in the majority," said Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee. "We didn't default and we preserved that progress."

The legislation suspended the debt ceiling into early 2025, moving the issue past the presidential election. The new law also has spending limits and other changes, with the Congressional Budget Office estimating it would shrink projected budget deficits by about $1.5 trillion over roughly a decade.

The House GOP narrowly passed a conservative debt ceiling increase in April filled with other Republican goals. It never had a chance of passing the Democrat-held Senate, which meant some sort of compromise was needed that was likely to rankle the edges of both parties.

The Tuesday setback meant that lawmakers lingered around Capitol Hill earlier this week waiting to see when the House could get back to passing bills.

"This is a family working out its differences and that's what you'll see," Tennessee GOP Rep. Andy Ogles said. "It's not the first time and it's not going to be the last time this happens."

Emmer's office did not respond to requests from the Star Tribune this week for comment or an interview.

In an interview with the Daily Mail website, Emmer was asked about more Democrats voting for the final debt ceiling agreement than Republicans.

"I was very upset. We should have had 218 Republicans vote for that bill," Emmer said, adding that while the new law didn't solve the problem, "it's the beginning of the solution."

Emmer also said in the interview the GOP revolt on the floor Tuesday was spontaneous. He predicted, however, that Republicans would end up stronger than before.

"This team was extremely successful and has been for the first five months doing things that people never thought possible," Emmer said.

"I said for the last five months ... do not expect us to be successful always," he added. "There will be a day where we run into adversity, there will be a day where we have a disagreement. That's what teams do. We're going through that period right now."