It is no secret that House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has long expressed interest in becoming the House Speaker. The California representative has met some of the nine hard-right’s concessions as he worked the House GOP members to get their votes and become the speaker. But as McCarthy tried to whip up the 218 votes he needs to obtain that desired position, what did he agree to give away?
The Republicans revealed its rules package for this 118th Congress. In it were the concessions the representative had given away. But the Republicans have to choose a speaker before they could adopt the new rules package, according to The Daily Beast.
McCarthy sent out a letter addressed to his “colleagues,” which included his promises to various members. In the letter, the California representative argued why he should be elected the Speaker of the House. The representative can only lose four votes, and he does not have them.
The nine Republican holdouts gave the California representative a list of their demands. Then, they sent McCarthy a second letter claiming he had not yet sufficiently met their demands. In a letter CNN acquired, the nine members wrote:
‘Thus far, there continue to be missing specific commitments with respect to virtually every component of our entreaties, and thus, no means to measure whether promises are kept or broken.’
The sitting Democratic chair of the House Rules Committee, Representative Jim McGovern called the House Republican rules:
‘[A] major step backward for this institution.’
Congress cannot be sworn in until it has a speaker. And as a result, McCarthy has been negotiating hard and fast. He even gave away the number of votes it would take to remove him, or any speaker, from office.
The House rules package as it stands as of now is:
‘The package released late Sunday includes giving five Republicans the power to call for a vote on deposing the sitting speaker; restoring the ability to zero out a government official’s salary; giving lawmakers 72 hours to a read bill before it comes to the floor; and creating a new select commit to investigative the “weaponization” of the Justice Department and the FBI.’
Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) was not happy with the deal McCarthy made, saying it made the threshold too easy to obtain. But that would not keep the South Dakota Republican from voting for the California representative. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) questioned whether the five-vote concession would even take him to 218 votes.’
Representative Matt Gaetz was a “hard no.” He wanted a single Republican vote to have the power to topple a speaker:
‘Gaetz replied that McCarthy had refused to entertain that idea, but if he is making that offer now, than he would consider it. McCarthy said he disagreed with Gaetz’s characterization, arguing that the rest of the conference can’t support the threshold as low as one person.’
‘“It’s not about me,” the California Republican said. However, he asked Gaetz if he could get to “yes” if McCarthy came down to a one-person threshold, to which Gaetz was still non-committal and said if it was a real offer, he would entertain it.’
Watch this space.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
Gloria Christie is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions her book written in her own unique style with a twist of humor on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress).