House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) suggested Saturday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) may no longer have the support necessary to be re-elected as Speaker. And even if she is ultimately granted another term, McCarthy says the strong Republican minority will likely “run the floor.”
McCarthy’s comments came during an appearance Saturday night with Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro near the end of a discussion about how House Republicans overperformed in the election compared to media projections, Breitbart reported.
Despite rosy media predictions of House Democrats expanding their majority in the 2020 elections, in actuality, they lost at least a dozen seats. While they will likely retain majority control of the House, it will only be with the slimmest of margins.
McCarthy: Pelosi “could lose as Speaker”
With regard to Speaker Pelosi’s now-tenuous position, McCarthy said, “We’ll have leadership races next week, and you’ll hear that she’ll win the leadership race. But that does not make her Speaker.”
“You have to have 218 votes on the floor,” he continued. “Last Congress, 15 Democrats voted against her. Ten of those Democrats are coming back to Congress. If 10 Democrats vote against her, she will not be Speaker. We will end up somewhere about 210 or further for the number of Republicans. So you know what could happen? She could lose as Speaker.”
“But if she wins as Speaker, you have [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)] and the progressive socialists actually grow,” McCarthy said, referencing the increasingly obvious internal divide between moderate and progressive Democrats. “They are fighting among themselves, tweeting at one another, pictures staring at one another, saying it’s a dumpster fire, screaming on their conference calls.”
“I believe at the end of the day, the Republicans will run the floor because it will be our ideas that are stronger — that the American public had rejected defunding the police, dismantling America. We believe we can rebuild and restore the American way,” McCarthy added. Watch:
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) November 15, 2020
Pelosi on thin ice
The possibility that Pelosi could be ousted from her role as Speaker by members of her own party is not as far-fetched as some might presume, as Roll Call recently documented the internal squabbles among Democrats and how their divisions might impact the House Democratic caucus.
Far from having any sort of “mandate” to ram through a far-left progressive agenda, Pelosi — or whoever else ends up as leader of the House — will face the very real prospect of centrist and moderate Democrats crossing the aisle to join with a strong and unified Republican minority to block progressive legislation.
At least one moderate Democrat, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), has already gone on record and said that she will not support Pelosi remaining in her leadership role over the House, according to Politico.
“I will not be voting for Nancy Pelosi,” Slotkin said during an in-depth post-election interview. “I have no idea if people are gonna run against her, or who might run against her. And I will of course have this conversation directly with her. But I believe we need new leadership. I would love to see more Midwesterners, because if you look across the leadership. … I respect these people, but it’s New York and California.”