Kevin McCarthy has been waiting a long time for Nancy Pelosi’s job as Speaker of the House. Now that the goal is in reach, the conservative wing of the Republican Party is trying to snatch it away from him.
It’s MY turn, McCarthy snarls
He’s given them everything they asked for, Kevin McCarthy insists. Everything except what they want, opponents counter. The California lawmaker has resorted to threats and intimidation.
He’s even thinking about pandering to Democrats for the missing votes. Beltway analysts expect the temper tantrum to continue, because he doesn’t have the votes he needs yet and the conservatives promise to keep fighting.
Five republicans are already on record opposed to McCarthy being made the big cheese. That’s enough to block. Rumors say that the real number is around 20. Maybe higher. While it’s possible he could convince five or six Democrats to back him, since he does have RINO proclivities, getting 20 to go for it seems out of the question.
Matt Gaetz nominates Jim Jordan for Speaker just feet away from a visibly uncomfortable Kevin McCarthy pic.twitter.com/7BUOGK1Bxe
— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) January 3, 2023
That means he needs to either make a deal or forget about it. He has a third option in mind. Threats and intimidation. That’s the one he’s working now.
The way Politico sees the situation, “after weeks of backbreaking negotiations, it appears the GOP leader’s fate will be decided in real time on the House floor.” Meanwhile, republicans are “bracing to see whether he lands the plane or crashes and burns.” McCarthy needs a total of 218 votes. His planned meeting Tuesday morning, January 3, with GOP leaders didn’t go anywhere as well as planned.
Fight to the bitter end
McCarthy nearly had the speaker’s gavel in his grasp twice before. Both times, he was iced out by “a group of conservatives.” He still holds a grudge against the House Freedom Caucus for what happened in 2015. As politico observes, “this time, his allies say he’s prepared to fight until the potentially bitter end.”
Nebraska’s Don Bacon is one of those allies. “He’s steadfast. He’s in this until hell freezes.” Looking out the window at the weather, that possibility might be coming.
Republicans will be acting like children for a while. McCarthy backers “expect him to keep Republicans on the House floor, instead of trying to adjourn for off-the-floor strategy sessions between ballots.”
I don’t see any scenario where I’d support Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker.
McCarthy has a track record of cutting backdoor deals with Democrats. pic.twitter.com/UzUz67yd7K
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) December 29, 2022
That way he can “grind down his opponents.” Conservative strategy seems to be “preparing not just for multiple ballots, but also multiple days of voting.”
Fresh news just in says that 19 republicans voted against McCarthy in the first ballot so the rumors were pretty accurate. According to one lawmaker, Kelly Armstrong, “We’re negotiating with Jell-O. It’s just time to start voting and keep voting.”
Kevin is threatening that anyone who voted against him will never get a committee chair assignment. Funny, but that’s the big sticking point. He won’t name the ones they want named, because they are too conservative. He only wants “moderate” RINO’s in charge of committees.