As Republicans plan to take charge of the House of Representatives in January, members from the conservative House Freedom Caucus are warning that Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who was nominated by the GOP to be Speaker of the House this week, might not be able to get enough votes to win the Speaker's role.
Kevin McCarthy's win in the Republican nomination does not necessarily mean that Kevin McCarthy automatically becomes Speaker and he'll need the support of each GOP House member when the chamber votes early next year. These are the figures:
219: The estimated number of seats Republicans will have in the next Congress.
218: The amount of votes that a candidate has to get to become Speaker in the House.
188: The amount of votes Kevin McCarthy received to earn the GOP nomination to be Speaker of the House.
31: The number of Republicans who did not vote for Kevin McCarthy to be their choice for Speaker of the House.
30: The amount of Republican (or Democrat!) votes Kevin McCarthy needs to earn by the 3rd of January 2023 in order to be an incoming Speaker in the House.
Freedom Caucus member Andy Biggs (R-AZ) is one of the loudest opponents of McCarthy's rise to the position of speaker. Biggs appeared on Dana Loesch's radio show this morning and confirmed that McCarthy isn't getting the votes he requires.
Biggs himself has said to Dana that he's on the verge of becoming Speaker. He was nominated by his fellow Freedom Caucus member Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) last week in a talk ahead of the GOP speaker's vote:
“You're not likely to make any changes if you keep doing the same things. That's the fact.” “Will Republicans stand for change? Or will Republicans defend the continued status existing?” “The status quo isn't working.”
Roy's comments align with Biggs complaints about House Republicans led by McCarthy as Minority Leader, who aggressively fails to pursue the agenda which enthuses American voters. As RedState revealed this week, Biggs stated:
“… I believe Americans would like us to get the budget under control and protect the border and want us to find ways to lower the cost of gas and oil as well as combat inflation, and all this. It's not possible to do this through passively observing or allowing the Biden administration or even trying to work with them with the Biden administration. You'll have to be strong.”
In the words of The Hill, a “Never Kevin” group is growing in GOP ranks and includes Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) commenting “The hard thing for Kevin, realistically, is there are a fair number of people who have said very publicly they're ‘Never Kevin.' Like, there's nothing that Kevin can do to get their vote.” This is a huge concern for Kevin McCarthy.
Incredibly, The Speaker of the House is not required to be a current member which means that anyone can, perhaps, get elected. Even former congressman Justin Amash, who came out of the shadows to declare his intention to become the “nonpartisan” Speaker of the House.
McCarthy who is supported by the former President Donald Trump and the recently elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) will not be able to open the door for somebody like Amash to play. When he was nominated last weekend, McCarthy said, “Look We have our work to complete. We've got to get the support of a tiny majority. We're required to hear everyone at the conference.”
In order to build support, McCarthy seems to be focusing his attention on issues that are important to moderate members within his group. McCarthy is pledging to “move meetings” to the border “so the Democrats can no longer ignore the problem, so the American public can actually have the information.” This certainly appears to be in line to the Freedom Caucus agenda. There will be more to come as he moves towards that crucial 218 number.
We'll know on January 3 whether his efforts have been successful.