WASHINGTON — With Republicans just hours away from taking control of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become Speaker remained in jeopardy on Monday.
The refusal of ultra-conservative lawmakers to accept California Republican McCarthy marked an eventful start to Republican dominance in the House, even after McCarthy made key concessions that weakened his power in the top post. The stalemate underscored Mr. McCarthy’s precarious position within the conference, and even when he emerged victorious, he declined in favor of the empowered right wing. I was almost guaranteed to become a person.
In a vote scheduled for around noon Tuesday when the new Congress convenes, Mr McCarthy must win a majority of those present and voting. But despite weeks of tough lobbying, he appeared to have fallen short of the unanimity needed to win.
A group of five Republicans have publicly pledged to vote against him. McCarthy loses only a handful of party members.
With little time left before Tuesday’s vote, McCarthy spent the weekend trying to persuade hardliners with significant concessions by agreeing to a rule that could oust the chairman in an instant vote at any time.
Lawmakers opposing Mr McCarthy had cited the change as one of their biggest demands. He suggested that he would accept it if he had five members.
But that wasn’t enough to sway the five rebels who opposed him, with more dissidents showing up Sunday night after McCarthy announced the concession on a conference call with House Republicans. rice field.
a new parliament is formed
After the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats retained control of the Senate while Republicans overthrew the House.
McCarthy was unable to tell lawmakers and incoming lawmakers on the conference call that he had secured the vote for the chairman. McCarthy could only say there was still time before Tuesday’s vote, according to two people familiar with the matter.
About two hours later, another group of nine conservative lawmakers, most of whom had previously been skeptical of Mr McCarthy’s bid for chairman, called his efforts to appease party aides ” Dealing with persistent deficiencies is next to impossible,” he said. The group included Pennsylvania representative Scott Perry, Freedom Caucus chairman, and Chip Roy of Texas.
“The times call for a radical departure from the status quo, not a continuation of past and ongoing failures of the Republican Party,” the group said in a statement. “As someone who has been in the senior leadership of the House Republican Party for 14 years, Mr. McCarthy candidly bears the responsibility of correcting the dysfunctions he clearly acknowledged during his long tenure.”
The build-up continued later on Monday, when conservative anti-tax group Club for Growth effectively threatened to punish Republicans who accepted McCarthy’s speakership. It announced it would lower the public ratings of lawmakers who voted for candidates who refused to return to House rules in force. of Ohio.
The group also called for the incoming Speaker to ban House Republican super PACs from spending money on Liberal primaries. The request reflects the biggest complaints of conservative hardliners in the House who are outraged that McCarthy used the committee to endorse a more mainstream candidate.
Mr McCarthy has pledged to fight to the last minute to win the House of Representatives seat, and even if lawmakers will have to vote multiple times, it is now clearly a possibility. If he fails to win a majority on Tuesday, members will vote back-to-back until McCarthy or another candidate has enough supporters to win.
This could cause chaos not seen in the House of Representatives for a century: since 1923 every speaker could hold the gavel with just one vote.
No strong candidate had yet emerged to challenge McCarthy, and it was not clear who would get enough support if Mr McCarthy failed to do so. Alternatives that could emerge if the president fails to secure include Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Former rival Ohio state representative Jim Jordan, who has a strong following among powerful ultraconservatives. Rep. Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina is one of his entourage.
Efforts to avoid the scene and solidify his voice, McCarthy has made numerous concessions over the past few months to secure votes for far-right members.
On Sunday night, he unveiled a package of rules governing how the House operates. This included several demands issued by members of the Liberty Caucus, including the adoption of the so-called Holman Rule, which allows MPs to use spending bills to override certain programs. . Fire federal employees or cut their salaries.
The proposed rule would also end proxy voting and remote committee hearings, end practices Democrats began in response to the pandemic, and end the Judiciary Committee’s focus on “weaponizing” the federal government. Create a new selection subcommittee below.
The package could also hamper the Congressional Ethics Office, which conducts bipartisan investigations into lawmakers’ behavior and recommends discipline to the Ethics Commission. One of the proposed changes would impose term limits on board members, resulting in the launch of an investigation into the actions of certain Republican lawmakers in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 attacks on Washington state. All but one Democrat will be removed from office when the committee considers whether. Houses of Parliament.
Another proposal would require the office to hire an investigator within the first 30 days of the new Congress. It’s a requirement that some ethics professionals fear, and if no hiring takes place within that timeframe, offices could remain understaffed for a long time.
McCarthy is also calling for a “church-style investigation” into past abuses of power by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency. This is a reference to a special commission established in 1975, informally known by the name of the Senator from the Frank Church of Idaho who led it to investigate abuses by American intelligence agencies. .
In response to far-right calls to oust Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mallorcas, he stepped up his words, calling for him to resign or face impeachment proceedings. He gave Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, who was stripped of her commissions for making a series of violent and intriguing social media posts before being elected, a coveted oversight committee. promised a spot in
McCarthy threatened to investigate the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack and promised to hold hearings to scrutinize the security breach that occurred. publicly encouraged His members called for a vote against a lame duck appropriation bill to fund the government.
At this point, it’s unclear whether a single proposal from McCarthy will be enough to persuade some lawmakers.
During a conference call on Sunday, New York Rep. Mike Lawler, who voiced his support for McCarthy, said opposition ringleader Florida Rep. Matt Gates would vote for McCarthy. I asked him sharply. He agreed to lower the voting threshold for ousting the Speaker in order to have only one Member of Parliament. Gates was irresponsible, said the people, who spoke by phone on condition of anonymity.
The exchange highlighted the challenges McCarthy faces in trying to maintain control of the House Republican meeting. This includes negotiations with a group of parliamentarians who practice a series of acts of sabotage that Boehner famously described as “legislative terrorism.”
Luke Broadwater When Emily Cochrane report.