McCarthy Or Nothing? House Republicans Are In A "Burning Building" Because Of The Speaker's Gavel
McCarthy Or Nothing? House Republicans Are In A "Burning Building" Because Of The Speaker's Gavel

McCarthy Or Nothing? House Republicans Are In A “Burning Building” Because Of The Speaker’s Gavel

As many big families and the cast of “Seinfeld” do during the holidays, House Republicans are voicing their complaints. At a closed-door House GOP conference meeting on Tuesday, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), and other allies of the minority leader stood up to speak in his favor, according to three people in the room. They were upset about the slow-moving campaign by conservatives to stop Kevin McCarthy from becoming a speaker.

In private, the people who support McCarty can’t agree on how big of a threat they will face on January 3, when the full House meets to choose a speaker and those who don’t agree with his promise to keep him from getting the votes he needs.

Part of the reason for this is that McCarthy’s opponents have used a “slow drip” strategy, sending out signs of new opposition slowly throughout the GOP leader’s month-long courtship of his critics. Some of McCarthy’s supporters think that his critics on the right are just blowing smoke, and they think that all the complaints will go away after a show of force on January 3. Behind closed doors, though, McCarthy’s other allies are starting to wonder if he can make it through the gauntlet that will be needed to win the gavel.

All of this adds up to a GOP conference that is full of anger and worry about what will happen to them in 2024 because of their fights. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio), who leads the more moderate Republican Governance Group, said, “This conference can’t handcuff itself to a burning building before we start the 118th Congress.”

“McCarthy won by 85% in a conference vote,” said Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas), who is in his first term and backs the minority leader. “I’d like to know if the people who were elected with 85% of the vote in their district think they should get another vote.”

McCarthy’s supporters are talking about which of the five Republicans who have said they might vote against him might be persuadable. They are also trying to find out the names of any other speaker candidates that “no” voters like Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Bob Good (R-Va.), and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) might support this as a good choice.

McCarthy Or Nothing? House Republicans Are In A "Burning Building" Because Of The Speaker's Gavel
McCarthy Or Nothing? House Republicans Are In A “Burning Building” Because Of The Speaker’s Gavel

In another sign of growing tensions between the two sides, Good stood up at Tuesday’s meeting to argue against the lawmakers who spoke in favor of the Californian. He said that they had more time to talk than the one minute that internal party rules allow. One Republican who knew Greene said that she got two members to give her their time. “If you’re going to set a time limit, stick to it,” Norman said as he left the Tuesday meeting, saying in an interview that his blood pressure was high.

GOP lawmakers have different ideas about how the vote for speaker will go. Some are betting that moderate Republicans will put forward a more moderate candidate, while others are guessing how many votes they’ll need to choose the speaker.

Some members have privately mentioned retiring moderate Rep. Fred Upton as a possible choice, but the Michigan Republican won’t be in the Capitol on Jan. 3 for that vote. Upton and his wife will be going on a ski trip instead. He said, “I’ll be at 12,000 feet.”

More and more members think that the leader of the House won’t be chosen on the first day of voting, let alone on the first ballot. “I guess that there will be more than one vote, and it could take a few days,” said a House Republican on the condition of anonymity, adding that McCarthy’s critics want a “pelt” but have “no real backup plan.”

In interviews with McCarthy’s opponents this year, one thing was made clear that his supporters want to use to their advantage: Plan B doesn’t have a single, agreed-upon leader like the conservative rebellion of 2015, which was put down by former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas), a member of the House Freedom Caucus who hasn’t said how he’ll vote on McCarthy, said, “As far as I know, there isn’t a single another candidate.” He added that their talks “have always been about changing the culture of Washington, D.C.” Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.) also said that “a lot of people at the conference” could be a candidate for speaker.

McCarthy’s opponents know that McCarthy’s supporters will beat up the first person who tries to run against him who goes public. This is a big reason why no other name is out there. Some rank-and-file members say that Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) is trying to take those arrows right now. The Arizonan lost to McCarthy by a large margin in the conference’s internal election last month, but he started an official campaign against McCarthy on Tuesday.

In 2015, most of the people who don’t like McCarthy are from the Freedom Caucus. But this year’s version of the group, which works best when everyone moves together, isn’t even close to being on the same page. Some of its members say that since they can’t agree on whether or not to make McCarthy speaker, they should instead work together on spending bills and other legislative priorities.

Critics of the Freedom Caucus say that its anti-McCarthy members just move the goalposts to get the most concessions from the GOP leader, but they don’t want to get rid of McCarthy for good. One of these deals, a compromise reached last month about how the conference can get rid of a speaker, may be brought up again.

Even though the conference backed Rep. Mike Turner’s (R-Ohio) amendment that it would take the support of a majority of House Republicans to try to get rid of the speaker, McCarthy’s opponents say they don’t think the matter is over.  Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said, “Nothing is closed.” “That’s what I mean.”

Centrists have already told McCarthy’s opponents in the Freedom Caucus that if they get rid of him, they might end up with a speaker who they don’t like as much. To make good on that threat, some House Democrats might have to vote “present” on January 3, which would lower the number of votes needed to become speaker.

But it’s not clear if any Democrats would be willing to help McCarthy out of a jam by working with the GOP. McCarthy has already said in public that he won’t ask Democrats for votes or take their votes. If McCarthy can’t get 218 votes, centrists talk about a compromise candidate. Conservatives don’t take this talk seriously.

“I want them to tell me which moderate Democrats they would work with… In an interview, Perry said, “I don’t believe that kind of talk.” “But if they’re willing to give some details and background, I think that would be a good topic for a conversation.”

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), one of the most outspoken pro-McCarthy moderates, promised that they would “go full bore” if McCarthy’s bid to become speaker of the house is defeated after multiple rounds of voting. Conservatives who don’t like McCarty “Don’t have another name, end of the day,” Bacon said. “Most of us don’t want to get rolled… We won’t be the good guys about this.” Moderates in both parties have talked about “break-glass” plans in case McCarthy doesn’t get 218 votes. POLITICO was the first to report on this, which has made Freedom Caucus-aligned Republicans angry.

Frank Luntz, an experienced GOP pollster and close friend of McCarthy, is a notable person who takes part in these talks. During private talks with House members, Luntz has asked about how Democrats might vote in the upcoming vote for speaker, both Republicans, and Democrats who were there say.

Luntz went to a retreat in Longboat Key, Florida, last month with members of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, where he talked about the subject. Even though it’s not clear if the GOP leader permitted Luntz to talk about the issue, their close relationship means that some in McCarthy’s conference will link the fact that the pollster brought it up to the Californian.

Comment below if you liked this story. Keep checking back with us here at the website for all the latest updates.

About Sam Houston 1811 Articles
Hello, I'm Sam Houston, and I'm proud to be a part of the team as a content writer. My journey into journalism has been quite an exciting ride, and it all began with a background in content creation. My roots as a content writer have equipped me with the essential skills needed to craft engaging narratives and convey information effectively. This background proved invaluable when I decided to make the transition into journalism. The transition allowed me to channel my storytelling abilities into producing news articles that not only inform but also captivate our readers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.