Kevin McCarthy struggles for top spot in new Republican-led US Congress

Group of hardline conservatives oppose McCarthy’s candidacy.
Republican Rep. Bob Good will not endorse McCarthy.
No Democrats are likely to vote for him.

WASHINGTON: US Representative Kevin McCarthy fought to defeat hardline conservative opposition and secure enough votes to give him the presidency when the new House of Representatives meets with a narrow Republican majority on Tuesday.

After a worse-than-expected showing in the November midterm elections, McCarthy’s fellow Republicans have been embroiled in a public fight over who should lead his party once he takes control of the House.

A group of hardline conservatives oppose McCarthy’s candidacy, concerned that he is less involved in the culture wars and partisan rivalries that have dominated the House and even more so since the Donald Trump White House years.

They have criticized the California Republican for not taking a more aggressive stance against Democrats, who under President Nancy Pelosi had been in control, on priorities including government funding, defense and border security.

Rep. Bob Good is one of five Republican lawmakers who have said they would not endorse McCarthy.

“I’m not voting for Kevin McCarthy tomorrow. He’s part of the problem. He’s not part of the solution,” Good told Fox News on Monday. “There’s nothing to tell me that he’s going to change his pattern since he’s been in leadership, where he’s part of the swamp cartel.”

With a slim 222-213 Republican majority, McCarthy can afford to lose just four votes from his caucus to win the 218 he needs, or more than half of the House’s 435 members.

No Democrats are likely to vote for him. But some in McCarthy’s party have proposed going across the aisle to rally support for an unnamed Republican candidate if hardliners refuse to budge on their opposition.

Asked if he had the votes as he walked through the US Capitol on Monday, McCarthy told reporters: “I think we’re going to have a good day tomorrow.”

McCarthy then held meetings with opponents and supporters. A source familiar with the situation later said lawmakers preparing to vote against him were still in double digits.

House Republicans are expected to meet face-to-face behind closed doors Tuesday morning, hours before the speaker’s election.

The speaker will set the House’s legislative agenda during a divided term of government in Washington, with President Joe Biden’s Democrats retaining the White House and Senate. The power struggle could undermine House Republicans’ hopes of moving quickly through investigations into the Biden administration and family.

McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, who was nominated for president in November by 188 of his fellow Republicans, made some concessions over the weekend, but they didn’t go far enough for some.

A New Year’s Day letter from nine dissatisfied conservative Republican lawmakers, posted on Twitter, said “specific commitments remain lacking on virtually all components of our pleas.”

The letter also stated that “the times demand a radical departure from the status quo, not a continuation of past and current Republican failures.”

About admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *