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While a Hard-right Faction Considers a Long-shot Challenge, Kevin Mccarthy Moves Quickly to Win a Prospective Speakership
According to multiple GOP sources, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is pushing quickly to secure the votes necessary to take the speaker’s gavel even as a hard-right portion of his conference debates whether to launch a long-shot challenge to scuttle his bid and compel concessions.
Just hours after his party appeared on pace to reclaim the House but fell short of its pessimistic expectations of a large GOP landslide, McCarthy privately spoke to his closest aides and confidantes over the phone on Wednesday morning.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the California Republican picked a group of individuals to serve on his whip team, which will assist him to win the speakership with 218 votes in January. GOP politicians on the conversation pledged to “fight hard to get him elected.” And on Wednesday, a number of allies could be seen entering and exiting McCarthy’s office as they began to discuss and carry out their game plan.
When asked if he had the support to become a speaker as he departed the Capitol on Wednesday night, McCarthy responded with assurance, “Yes.” But the size of a probable GOP majority will play a significant role in determining McCarthy’s smooth rise to the position of speaker. The pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus might prevent McCarthy from becoming a speaker if he holds a slim majority. Currently, no Republican takeover of the chamber has been predicted by CNN.
A restless morn inside congressional GOP. Haven’t seen this level of anxiety and loathing since late 2015 as Trump ascended. Widespread consensus that McCarthy still in a position to be speaker if Rs win House. But his allies now wonder: at what cost? with what kind of power?
— Robert Costa (@costareports) November 9, 2022
According to a source with knowledge of the House Freedom Caucus’ discussions, some two dozen existing and incoming members are prepared to vote against McCarthy if he doesn’t make any concessions to them, CNN reported on Wednesday morning.
In an effort to get the GOP leader to grant them more power over how the House runs, they are actively debating running a nominal opponent against McCarthy in next week’s leadership elections, the source claimed.
McCarthy spoke with some potential GOP holdouts behind closed doors throughout the day, including Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the controversial conservative who was removed from her committee assignments by Democrats – and a number of Republicans – over her past incendiary rhetoric.
McCarthy sent a letter to the conference on Wednesday afternoon officially announcing his bid for the speakership and asking members for their support. In a GOP majority, Greene has sought a seat on the influential House Oversight Committee.
The election for leadership next week is merely the beginning of the procedure. Before a vote in January, when he would need 218 votes from the entire House, McCarthy would need to get the backing of the majority of his conference.
Freedom Caucus board member Bob Good to @Axios after HFC call: “Kevin McCarthy has not done anything to earn my vote.”
“I believe there’s a number of members who feel as I do and who will support a challenge,” he says.
“I don’t think he has the votes.” https://t.co/M5MdCoUOvI
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) November 10, 2022
In order to gain their support in the campaign for speaker in January, when he wouldn’t be able to afford to lose more than a few GOP votes in a slim Republican majority, it is hoped that they will support a challenger to McCarthy in the elections that take place next week.
Florida On July 22, 2022, in Tampa, Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis delivers a speech at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit that is being held at the Tampa Convention Center. A chance to participate in a series of networking sessions with political figures is offered, along with training in student activism and leadership.
winners and losers so far in the 2022 presidential election.
By the end of the week, as members assess their options and as newly elected lawmakers arrive in Washington for their first meetings, the Freedom Caucus’ plan will become more clear. According to a person familiar with the situation, Rep. Matt Gaetz, a fervent opponent of McCarthy who is not a member of the Freedom Caucus but is closely associated with it, began calling members to discuss tactics about the speaker’s race.
Making it simpler for individual members to call for a vote to remove a sitting speaker is one of their objectives; McCarthy has long rejected this concept and it was used against previous Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican.
The same source claimed that the Freedom Caucus desires additional representation on the committee assignment selection committee. Additionally, they are urging GOP leaders to pledge to stall the legislative process in order to give them more time to examine even non-controversial proposals.
The demands of hardliners may potentially include declarations that President Joe Biden or members of his Cabinet will be the subject of inquiries and possible impeachment. Rep. Andy Biggs, a Republican from Arizona and former head of the Freedom Caucus, complained that a McCarthy speakership should not be a “foregone conclusion” to a right-wing streaming network, lamenting the lack of a red wave and charging McCarthy of “backpedaling” on impeachment.
According to a top GOP insider, “McCarthy has a lot of chips to cash in.” But he will need to cash in each and every one of them. McCarthy may also be able to sway detectors with enticing committee positions, plush workspace, and other benefits. Prior to Tuesday, there was also a discussion of giving his team an additional leadership role, which might be used to appease detractors.
McCarthy’s supporters are praising former president Donald Trump’s endorsement of him for the speaker’s gavel on Tuesday, which might win over ardent Trump supporters in the House GOP conference. Additionally, according to Republican insiders, McCarthy has been in discussions with some Freedom Caucus members regarding their position in a GOP majority for weeks. McCarthy has long worked to establish a positive reputation with even the most rebellious forces within the caucus.
Additionally, McCarthy’s supporters think Republicans will give him credit for the hundreds of millions of dollars his outside organization raised and spent on crucial elections. Since Tuesday night, McCarthy has been calling elected GOP candidates and members.
A source with knowledge of the situation claims that McCarthy’s message to members has been fairly straightforward: under his leadership, the GOP has won seats in two consecutive elections, and he is about to give Republicans the majority, which will give them the ability to subpoena witnesses and act as a check on the Biden administration.
McCarthy’s supporters claim that the GOP leader is open to hearing from members, but they worry that doing so could lead to a slippery slope. Depending on the margins, McCarthy may not have a choice. McCarthy had intended to gain at least 20 seats to give him a boost in the battle for the speaker as well as to advance his agenda. Given that many contests are still too close to call by CNN, it’s uncertain whether they will make it.
In addition to the speaker’s campaign, the GOP’s poor showing on Tuesday has complicated other leadership contests. The contest for House GOP whip, which will only become available if Republicans gain the majority, was already tight, but Rep. Tom Emmer, who heads the party’s campaign committee, was thought to have an advantage because he stood to gain if they had a successful election night.
Republicans now claim that Emmer’s chances of winning may be less favorable. Emmer told reporters on Tuesday that he still intends to run for office and that he is unsure how a smaller majority will affect his campaign. However, he uses the same line as McCarthy in his appeal to the members: “We delivered.”
Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, a supporter of Trump and the leader of the right-leaning Republican Study Committee, formally announced his candidacy for the whip’s office in the meanwhile. Additionally, the deputy whip at the moment, Rep. Drew Ferguson of Georgia, is running for the position as well.
He claims that in a situation where there is a slim majority and the chief vote-counting position is essential for governing, his experience working with the whip’s team will be even more valuable. A new development has been added to this article.