Speaker McCarthy's concessions to win speakership revealed

 January 8, 2023

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had to make a number of concessions to become the new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and now outlets are revealing what those concessions are. 

Many, according to the Washington Examiner, were "costly."


It took no less than 15 rounds and four days of voting in order for McCarthy to become House speaker.

The process was slowed down by a group of roughly 20 House Republicans who refused to simply give McCarthy their votes. This was due to legitimate concerns about McCarthy not being a strong enough advocate for Republican interests - of him being too likely to capitulate to the Democrats and the D.C. establishment.

Eventually, after making numerous, significant concessions, McCarthy managed to flip a sufficient number of these 20 House Republicans to earn the speakership.

Six, however, still refused to vote directly for McCarthy, instead choosing to vote "present." This, effectively, lowered the vote threshold allowing McCarthy to obtain the speakership with less than the 218 votes that are normally required.

It appears that former President Donald Trump played a large role in the process. McCarthy, after being named speaker, thanked Trump for his efforts, saying, “This doesn’t get done without the support and leadership of President Trump.”

The concessions

The number of concessions that McCarthy had to make in order to become House speaker is large. Here, we'll focus on some of the bigger ones.

Perhaps the biggest one of all is that a single lawmaker now, at any time, has the ability to call for a vote in order to oust the House speaker. This was the way the House used to be run before Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took over and changed the rules.

Another big concession concerns spending. According to Fox News:

McCarthy agreed to reject any negotiations on spending with the Senate until the Senate passes its own spending bills. He agreed not to increase the debt limit without spending cuts or other fiscal reforms . . .

In addition to this, McCarthy promised to hold votes on numerous pieces of legislation, including legislation on term limits for House members. McCarthy also promised to create a committee to investigate the weaponization of the government against U.S. citizens.

The list goes on. The Hill reports that it includes:

. . . an open amendment process, providing rank-and-file lawmakers with more power to alter legislation; adoption of the so-called Holman rule, which grants Congress new powers over federal agencies; and a 72-hour rule, which requires a full three days to allow lawmakers to read bills before they hit the floor [and more].

Looking forward

McCarthy, on Friday night after finally becoming speaker, appeared tired but relieved. He gave the impression that the concessions that he made were worth it. Time will tell if this is true.

"I hope one thing is clear after this week: I will never give up," McCarthy said. "I will never give up on you, the American people. And I will never give up on keeping our Commitment to America. Our nation is worth fighting for."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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