House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy expressed strong confidence Tuesday that he had the votes among Republicans to become the next Speaker of the House.
"I feel very good where I'm at," the California congressman told Jake Tapper on CNN
when asked whether he would become the next speaker. When Tapper pressed further, McCarthy said again, "I feel very good where I'm at."
McCarthy, who was elected No. 2 last year after Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor's drubbing by political novice Dave Brat, is the lead to succeed John Boehner, who abruptly announced Friday that he was leaving Congress after 25 years at the end of next month.
House conservatives have been working hard to find someone to challenge McCarthy, fearing a continuation of Boehner's policies since he first became speaker in 2011. A vote could come as early as this week.
McCarthy told Tapper, however, that it would not be business as usual with him as speaker.
"What people want to have is a change of Washington. Too many people in Washington care about power institutions, not caring about changing the lives of everyday Americans," he said.
"But everybody has a say, everybody has a voice because everyone that comes to the House, 750,000 people they're representing — and you want those voices heard."
He said that he was committed to keeping the federal government open and that "I'm willing to fight" over defunding Planned Parenthood, "but I want to fight to win.
"It's not a problem to send a bill to the White House a couple of times."
President Barack Obama has promised to veto any funding bill that strips Planned Parenthood of its federal subsidies.
In a nod to conservatives, McCarthy said that "we want everyone to take a part. We want to be inclusive. That's going to be a fundamental difference.
"A speaker sets a culture in the House — and the culture you're going to have is bottom-up, and everybody gets a voice."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.