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Tags: kevin mccarthy | house | speaker | win | second | ballot | republicans

McCarthy Should Win After First Ballot, Backers Tell Newsmax

kevin mccarthy pointing his finger while speaking
Kevin McCarthy (Getty Images)

John Gizzi By Tuesday, 03 January 2023 10:58 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Despite facing at least a solid 10 "no" votes, Kevin McCarthy will prevail Tuesday and become House Speaker.

But his close supporters in the House told Newsmax it will likely come on the second ballot.

If that comes to pass, it will be the first time in a century that it has taken more than one ballot to secure the speaker's gavel.

With the death of Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., in November, the magic number for McCarthy will be 217 "yes" votes, rather than the 218 that would otherwise be necessary when the majority of the full House is present.

Because five members of the House's conservative Freedom Caucus said they will not support McCarthy, much of the national media is concluding that he will fall short of the "magic 217" he needs on the first ballot.

The five: Reps. Matt Gaetz, Fla., Andy Biggs, Ariz., Matt Rosendale, Mont., Ralph Norman, S.C., and Bob Good, Va.

Others will vote against McCarthy, although they have not publicly declared their intentions.

The movement against McCarthy started as one based on issues and demands from the so called "Gang of Five" – but has now degenerated into a personal issue.

"It's crazy, the group made all these demands on Kevin, and he gave into every one of their demands," a frustrated GOP House member told Newsmax.

McCarthy in recent days met with several holdout votes and met their key demands.

Among the demands was that McCarthy agree to a Motion to Vacate, allowing the Republican caucus to more easily remove McCarthy.

McCarthy also agreed to limiting bills to a single subject and the ability of zeroing out salaries of the executive branch during budgeting, the use of the so-called Holman Rule.

McCarthy also vowed that the days of proxy voting by lawmakers or "phoning in" participation in committees by Zoom call are over.

"We will meet, gather and debate in person — just as the founders envisioned," he wrote in a letter to Republican colleagues Sunday.

But anger was mounting within the Republican House Conference at the five members who are still holding out.

"No one did as much as Kevin McCarthy to get us to a Republican majority," veteran Rep. Chris Smith, R.-N.J., told Newsmax, "I wish [his critics within the Conference] considered how much money he raised for candidates, and how his campaigning rescued so many Republicans who could have gone down."

Rep. Tom McClintock, R.-Calif., told Newsmax: "If the Freedom Caucus' doctrine holds, it means that a Republican speaker will need to get 98.2 percent of the Republican vote [on the House floor]. Otherwise, the next speaker is likely to be elected by 213 Democrats and five Republicans. And they won't be the five most conservative Republicans."

Over the weekend, numerous Republican House Members weighed in with statements vowing to back McCarthy for speaker beyond a first ballot.

Moreover, McCarthy's understudy, Majority Leader-designate Steve Scalise, R-La., made it clear he would not get into the contest for speaker.

"Steve will be loyal to McCarthy to the end," said a longtime Republican activist from Scalise's suburban New Orleans district.

Publicly, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has been backing McCarthy for speaker.

But some have noted that several of Jordan's key allies, including Rep. Scott Perry and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, have led efforts to stop McCarthy.

Meadows, for example, has weighed in strongly with outside groups like the Club for Growth and Freedomworks, getting them to negatively score a pro-McCarthy vote on their voting reports.

Despite these efforts, McCarthy teams say they are, in Ronald Reagan's words, "cautiously optimistic."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Despite facing at least a solid 10 "no" votes, Kevin McCarthy will prevail Tuesday and become House Speaker.
kevin mccarthy, house, speaker, win, second, ballot, republicans, vote
Tuesday, 03 January 2023 10:58 AM
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