Weak McCarthy could lead to first ‘ground fight’ for House speaker in 100 years
The first order of business when the new Republican-led House meets in January will be to elect a new president. After the midterm elections, McCarthy was chosen by Republicans for GOP nomination for President.
But that doesn’t mean all Republicans are on board — and the GOP margin in the House is very slim after the “red wave” turned into a red dribble. That means McCarthy’s next hurdle will be getting the 218 votes needed to become president.
With Republicans holding a slim majority in the House, McCarthy can ill afford defectors. No more than four, to be precise, if he can’t get any Democrats to his side.
But a few lone conservatives have already declared their opposition, vowing not to vote for McCarthy. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), one of the leaders of the House Freedom Caucus, said:
“He doesn’t have the voices. Some of the stages of grieving include denial, so there will be some denial and then there will be the negotiation stage where people are trying to figure out…will there be some kind of consensual candidate that emerges.
The question might be, are House Republicans ready for a ground fight that hasn’t happened in 100 years?
Trouble in Paradise: Congressman Gaetz is unhappy with Kevin McCarthy, and he’s not alone:#TheGreatAmericaShow https://t.co/muDcWvS6nx
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) November 21, 2022
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Whether the Speaker of the House ends up being Kevin McCarthy or someone else, chances are things will be very different from the Pelosi era. After decades in the House, Nancy Pelosi honed his skills as a master manipulator votes when she needed them.
Another possible key thrown in the works for McCarthy, although unlikelyformer President Donald Trump continues to live rent-free in the collective minds of Democrats.
During an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” earlier this month, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) suggested to host Margaret Brennan that some “far-right” members of the House vote for Trump to be president.
Raskin said: “It’s a real problem for Kevin McCarthy now, because there are some pro-Trumpists within his House caucus who refuse to accept that he is really with it. Asset and they want to get rid of McCarthy. They could just vote for Trump.
According to the Constitution, the Speaker of the House is not required to be a member of Congress, but the odds of Trump becoming President are between zero and zero.
Rep. Jim Jordan responded Tuesday to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s call for the resignation of President Biden’s Borders chief, saying in a statement that McCarthy was right that “Americans deserve accountability.” for the record number of illegal crossings.@Jim_Jordan for speaker!
— 👑💥 Serenity 💥👑 (@polishprincessh) November 24, 2022
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Not everyone is on board
Currently, five House GOP members said they would not support Kevin McCarthy’s candidacy for president. If Republicans end up with 222 seats and all 435 members vote, McCarthy can only afford to lose four votes.
In short, if McCarthy can’t get the necessary votes, the House will call as many elections as it takes until some candidate passes the mark. The last time this happened was in 1923.
One Republican House member actively opposing McCarthy is Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). He put the GOP midterm performance less than stellar at the feet of McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
According to the Washington Examiner, Gaetz phoned colleagues to convince them of another choice. Gaetz said in a statement, “Just as I have done after every election, you can count on me to have conversations with my colleagues on policy, policy and leadership issues.”
McCarthy also appeared to be lenient on any possible impeachment inquiry, of President Joe Biden or any other Biden cabinet member. Prior to the election, McCarthy was interviewed by CNN’s Melanie Zanona, who asked if “impeachment is on the table.”
McCarthy’s response was to pour cold water over it.
Zanona pressed McCarthy and said, “Some of your members already calling for impeachment. What do you say to these members?
It was here that McCarthy perhaps gave a squishy preview of things to come and replied:
“One thing I know in the land of America is the rule of law. And we will maintain the rule of law and we will not play politics with that. We will never use impeachment for It doesn’t mean that if something comes up on occasion it won’t be used. Any other time it doesn’t matter if it’s Democrats or Republicans. But the idea of what the Democrats have done, of what Adam Schiff has done, is treacherous… We are better than that. We need to get our nation back on track. That’s what the Pledge to America does.
Matt Gaetz summed up his assessment of McCarthy by saying, “House Republicans need a credible leader in all areas of the GOP conference in order to be a capable fighting force for the American people. This person is not Kevin McCarthy.
Kevin McCarthy does not have the votes to become President…
He should step down and congressional Republicans should unite behind a president who has always been committed to America, @chiproytx!
— Katie Arrington (@karringtonc) November 26, 2022
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