McCarthy’s Biggest Problem Can’t Be Overcome

Shirley Preston /
Shirley Preston /

Those who are opposing Rep. Kevin McCarthy for House Speaker seem to be multiplying even amid the concessions that he is making for more votes.

The California lawmaker said recently to his GOP colleagues, “Just as the Speaker is elected by the whole body, we will restore the ability for any 5 members of the majority party to initiate a vote to remove the Speaker if so warranted.”

He also said that Congress did not intend for Zoom and from now on members will not be able to “phone it in” while going on trips or sailing their boats.

“We will meet, gather and debate in person—just as the founders envisioned,” McCarthy said.

Originally, there were five GOP objectors to McCarthy’s leadership: Reps. Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Bob Good, Ralph Norman, and Matt Rosendale.

But that number is growing, according to Politico. That caused McCarthy to announce over the weekend that he would give his opponents one of their top demands: the new threshold to trigger a vote to oust a speaker would go from half the GOP conference to just five dissatisfied lawmakers.

Just hours after that concession, nine House conservatives wrote a letter saying that it was not good enough.

So the five went to fourteen, and he can only lose four votes if all House members cast their votes.

Another source spoke about some of the fence sitters also deciding that they won’t support McCarthy even if he gives them everything they have asked for. They said that the real problem is that people don’t trust him.

That is a huge hurdle for him to overcome. No one knows for sure what it would take for McCarthy to get those votes now.

If McCarthy isn’t elected Tuesday on the first ballot, it would be the first time since the 1920s that it’s taken more than one round of voting to choose a speaker.