What did McCarthy have to give to become Speaker?
Kevin McCarthy was finally voted in as Speaker of the House, on the 15th try. This was the first time in over 100 years that the election of the Speaker has taken more than one vote.
Some of the more conservative members of the Republican Party took advantage of the small 222 to 212 majority, where a mere six Republicans could prevent McCarthy from reaching the 218 votes needed to become speaker. Ultimate 20 Republicans voted against McCarthy before negotiations began.
Is this disloyalty? I’m sure McCarthy thought it was. But then again, Republicans are loyal to the Constitution not just to one of their leaders. These are Republicans who follow the lead of Trump in being wary of the “swamp” and business as usual, and Kevin McCarthy could have easily fallen into that same rut. But ultimately it was Trump who intervened in the negotiations to help out McCarthy
And of course, the liberal media is painting this as a major dysfunction and crisis in the Republican Party. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth, this is good for America, it shows that Republicans care about their agenda and are willing to take risks for it.
According to Newsmax, the following were the key points of negotiation.
No promise of chairs or gavels to anyone (in exchange for votes for him…)
- Bills will go back through regular order.
- Appointing a select committee by the speaker but housed under the judiciary to investigate the FBI and Department of Justice.
- Bringing a congressional term-limits bill to the floor for a vote.
- Ending the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Introduction of a fair-tax bill.
- Introduction of a border bill.
The select committed for investigating the FBI and DOJ will have some impact, hopefully it will be covered as much in the media as the fiction offered by the Jan 6th committee.
I’m doubting that the bills that he is required to introduce will pass. After all the Democrats control the Senate, and there is no way to overcome a Biden veto. But at least they will be on the books.
One of the agreements was a bit ominous, though.
If McCarthy fails to live up to these promises, the rules also allow for any member to force a vote on a “motion to vacate the chair” – ousting him from the speaker’s chair – at any time. It would only take a handful of Republicans, along with all Democrats, to oust him.
It seems to me that any disgruntled Congressman, Republican or Democrat, could use this to disrupt Congress. Under normal circumstances, I am all for disrupting Congress, since they seem to do more harm than good, and I suspect even the malicious use of the rule will not affect the country a great deal. It should be interesting.
So Congress experienced some turmoil in the short term. But I believe it pushed Congress in a Trumpian direction, certainly worth the few days of uncertainty.