D.C. establishment suggests Rep. Upton for House speaker

 December 3, 2022

Politico reports that the D.C. establishment - including establishment Republicans and Democrats - has suggested the idea of having Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) be the next speaker of the House. 

As we will see, this would be bad news for America.


Republicans will officially be the majority party in the House in January following success in the midterms. This means that a replacement is needed for outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

The belief of many is that Pelosi's replacement will be Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the current House Minority Leader. In fact, McCarthy has already won the House speakership nomination from his own party.

The problem, though, is that, in order to be named House speaker, one has to receive at least 218 votes from the House as a whole. And, McCarthy didn't receive unanimous support from his own party. 31 House Republicans voted against a McCarthy speakership.

What this means is that it is very possible that McCarthy doesn't have the votes to be the next House speaker, assuming not all House Republicans support his speakership bid.

According to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), McCarthy doesn't, as there are roughly 20 House Republicans whom Biggs described as "pretty hard nos" to a McCarthy speakership.

"Doomsday scenario"

So, the question is, "if not McCarthy, then who?" We now know one possibility: Rep. Upton.

Per Politico:

One name being floated by Democrats to Republicans as someone they should put up if McCarthy folds or can’t secure 218: Retiring Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), one GOP lawmaker in the group told POLITICO on Friday.

This would be bad news for Republicans, as Upton is one of those House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump. Not only that, but, as recently as this past week, Upton said that he is "very troubled" by the direction that the Republican Party has taken.

This may be an example of the "doomsday scenario" that some Republicans are warning could happen should Republicans not unite behind McCarthy.

Looking forward

It ought to be noted that Upton is retiring. But, one doesn't have to be a current U.S. representative to be the House speaker. Upton, for his part, says that he is "fully supportive of Kevin McCarthy for speaker."

This kind of endorsement, perhaps, explains exactly why it is that many House Republicans are against a McCarthy speakership.

When it comes time to vote, though, some House members may have to choose the lesser of competing evils, and, for the time being, that appears to be McCarthy.

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