McCarthy: House speakership is 'in jeopardy'

 December 18, 2022

According to the Washington Examiner, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the current House minority leader, just revealed that he is still not receiving unanimous support from House Republicans to be the next speaker. 

This could be bad news for House Republicans.

What's going on?

The Republicans are going to have a majority in the House in January, thanks to their success in the midterm elections. But, there has been disagreement among House Republicans over who ought to be the next House speaker.

House Republicans, themselves, have already nominated McCarthy for the speakership. But, the nomination was not unanimous - in fact, it was 31 votes away from being unanimous.

This is problematic because a candidate needs at least 218 votes from the entire House to become the next speaker.

Considering that Republicans will only have 222 House members, they can't afford too many defections, assuming that all House Democrats vote against a McCarthy speakership.

So, there is a very real concern that House Democrats and establishment House members might take advantage of this situation by installing their own speaker, which would significantly undermine the Republicans' incoming majority.

The latest

McCarthy recently spoke about the speakership situation. He said that, while he has secured the votes of 26 of the 31 Republicans who previously voted against him, the remaining five individuals just aren't budging.

"Well, we’re still continuing to talk, but they have not moved," McCarthy said.

Those five Republicans are Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Bob Good (R-VA), and Ralph Norman (R-SC). This group is big enough to potentially undermine McCarthy's speakership bid.

McCarthy went on to talk about the many negative consequences that would result from Republicans not uniting behind him to become the next speaker. McCarthy said:

And the difficulty here is that, you know, we are the only Republican entity stopping the Biden administration, but we’re also going to be the only ones that can move forward. But it would delay everything, getting committees up and running, being able to do the things that you know we need to get done from the very beginning.

McCarthy later said, "it's all in jeopardy."

McCarthy remains optimistic

Several Republican leaders - including former President Donald Trump - are urging those Republicans who are opposing a McCarthy speakership to stand down, warning that, if they don't, Republicans could end up with someone far worse than McCarthy.

McCarthy, for his part, expressed his belief that, "in the end," those opposing his speakership will unite behind him.

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