GOP in disarray? Matt Gaetz still says NO to Kevin McCarthy as Leader’s allies say he will be spokesperson
The 118th Congress is scheduled to begin Tuesday noon, but as of Monday night the House majority party is still at odds over who will lead the chamber for the next two years.
Public disagreements among House Republicans over current Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s bid for the House of Representatives have already given their newfound power a rocky start.
The GOP has 222 seats in the new Congress and McCarthy needs 218 votes for him to be able to only afford to lose four members to win the hammer.
So far there are total 14 members of his caucus who have at least strongly indicated that they are voting against him.
The disorder culminated in a late afternoon meeting between McCarthy, his allies and some of his critics, including MPs Matt Gaetz and Scott Perry.
Around 5 p.m. ET, Republican lawmakers were seen entering the House Speaker’s Chamber. McCarthy’s staff moved furniture into this office earlier in the day in an apparent show of confidence – although making the move so early is reportedly standard protocol.
Republican House Representatives Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert and Scott Perry were seen entering and exiting the Speaker’s Chambers, which current House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy moved into in anticipation of Tuesday’s gavel win
Gaetz told reporters the meeting was “brief and productive,” but insisted he still defied McCarthy, according to a video posted by NBC News’ Haley Talbot.
He is one of five House Republicans who have vowed to vote against the GOP leader no matter what.
McCarthy’s allies, however, like new House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, expressed their confidence after walking out of the meeting.
“He’s going to be spokesman,” Emmer told reporters, according to CBS News.
McCarthy and his supporters have spent weeks trying to persuade his critics, mostly conservatives to his right, to rally behind the California Republican. But they want concessions that moderates in the party — and, until recently, McCarthy himself — were unwilling to make.
In a Sunday letter to colleagues, McCarthy announced several key concessions, including a motion to vacate the presidency with a five-vote hurdle in exchange for conference-wide support.
Under the currently proposed rules, it would allow all five House Republicans to put up a new Speaker to vote. Moderates argued that this would fuel instability within the conference, likening it to hanging a sword of Damocles over the party leader’s head.
But later that night, a group of nine other current and incoming House Republicans signed a letter calling McCarthy’s announcement of concessions “almost impossibly late.”
Multiple reports suggest the Conservatives will support McCarthy’s No. 2 Rep. Steve Scalise in place of the California Republican.
With just 222 Republicans in the new Congress, McCarthy can afford to lose just four votes to still be elected speaker
It has been reported that McCarthy’s (right) current No. 2, new House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (left), could be the Conservatives’ pick for an alternative to McCarthy as speaker
However, moderate Republican Rep. Don Bacon vowed to keep fueling the chaos, hinting Monday night that such a mutiny would not come easily.
According to CBS, Bacon told reporters that if the five “Never Kevin” Republicans proposed McCarthy Scalise, he would consider appointing an outgoing member of the current Congress to be Speaker.
Bacon wrote an op-ed in the Daily Caller on Monday, calling McCarthy’s leadership “outstanding” but reiterating that he is ready to work with Democrats on an alternative if the anti-McCarthy rebellion succeeds.
“There has been much talk of working with more moderate Democrats to choose a more moderate speaker,” Bacon wrote.
“But my actual words were that if the five refuse to agree on what the vast majority of the conference wants, I’m willing to work across the aisle to find a comfortable Republican.”
While conservatives oppose him, McCarthy’s supporters seem to be looking for a plan B — moderate GOP Rep. Don Bacon (pictured in 2021) has indicated multiple times that he would be willing to negotiate with Democrats over a moderate Republican speaker candidate California Republican’s bid is derailed
McCarthy has had a wide array of proxies trying to persuade the holdouts in recent weeks, from traditional conservatives like Gingrich to Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — allies of many of McCarthy’s biggest critics.
But her strategy of pressuring critics to conform and warning that a worse alternative was on the horizon seemed to do little to move the needle.
Greene wrote on Twitter after reportedly also meeting with McCarthy Monday night: “Unreal for people claiming to be America First to negotiate for ‘Me First’ positions when it comes to the speaker’s gavel. “
“The base deserves the truth. You’d be just as disgusted as I am,” the far-right Georgia lawmaker said.
But Rep. Andy Biggs, one of the five original “Never Kevin” Republicans, tweeted after 8 p.m. ET Monday, “Even after the McCarthy machine attempts to whip votes and smear my name for several weeks, McCarthy always is.” still far behind the 218 back threshold.
“Our party still needs new leadership and I will continue to oppose McCarthy as Speaker of the House,” Biggs said.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11593543/Matt-Gaetz-Kevin-McCarthy-Speaker.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 GOP in disarray? Matt Gaetz still says NO to Kevin McCarthy as Leader’s allies say he will be spokesperson