The Republicans have been quick to line up the next Speaker of the House. While ballots are still being counted in a few states, recently elected lawmakers of the Republican Party met in Washington, D.C., to select the person who will take over their party’s leadership role. The current minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, fended off a contest by fellow members of the House Freedom Caucus to secure the Republican nomination for speaker, a post that the entire incoming class of representatives will vote on in January.
From Fox News:
McCarthy, R-Calif, beat back a challenge by more conservative elements in the House Republican Conference represented by Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona. The final vote tally was 188-31. Most of Biggs’s support came from members of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus. Biggs had previously chaired the group, which counts more than two dozen House Republicans among its membership, between 2019 and 2022.
President Donald Trump has been voicing his support for McCarthy for a long time and even posted in Truth Social back in June: “In Congress, Kevin is a tireless advocate for the people of Bakersfield and the Central Valley. He is working incredibly hard to Stop Inflation, Deliver Water Solutions, and Hold Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi Accountable for their catastrophic failures and dereliction of duty,” Trump wrote. “Kevin McCarthy has my Complete and Total Endorsement.”
McCarthy was also backed by support from lightning rod Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who declared it “a bad strategy” to not vote for McCarthy “when we’re looking at having a very, razor-thin majority, with potentially 219. We’re talking about one vote.” The new House Speaker has also won the support of centrists, such as Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.
During January's vote for the speaker with all House reps present, McCarthy will need at least 218 of the 435 votes for the gavel to be secured. He was able to get just 188 votes, which means that McCarthy will probably have to concede to the House Freedom Caucus on issues such as crime, the economy, and the border. The imminent razor-thin Republican majority will force McCarthy to seek consensus within his own party. His plans could change to a more conservative approach in order to placate the right wing of the House.
The vote for the Speaker of the House will be held on January 3, 2023.