The impasse between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and a small faction of House Republicans continues, as the January vote for a new House speaker draws closer.
On Friday, the California congressman told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that the five Republican lawmakers who oppose McCarthy becoming House speaker still are not budging from their stances.
"We're still continuing to talk, but they have not moved," said McCarthy.
On Jan. 3, McCarthy's House-speaker nomination will go to a floor vote, coinciding with the Republican-controlled Congress seizing control of the chamber.
Preliminary estimates have McCarthy sitting five votes shy of securing the House speaker position.
The five reported holdouts on the GOP side: Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Matt Rosendale of Montana and Bob Good of Virginia.
On Thursday, Axios reported the Biggs-Gaetz-Norman-Rosendale-Good coalition plans to vote as a unit next month, regarding the House speaker race.
"We all operate as five. ... We come as five, so we're going to agree on all [of the concessions we need]," Norman told Axios Wednesday.
The Newsmax elections tracker projects the Republicans to have a nine-seat advantage when the new Congress takes over.
Assuming that differential holds, McCarthy might not have sufficient breathing room to overcome the absence of the Biggs coalition vote.
Yet McCarthy remains confident in his quest to become House speaker. He also believes that "in the end," the other GOP lawmakers will stop short of letting the Democrats control the House speaker election.
"We had a discussion. We had the conference decide. They got to vote in a secret ballot who they wanted to have their designee on the floor that day. I won with 85% of the vote," McCarthy told Hewitt.
"I just believe this is a win for the Democrats. They're sitting back, and we can't allow that to happen. We are the only individuals standing in the way of stopping more Democratic bad policy," added McCarthy.
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