Many have been speculating that Kevin McCarthy will take over the role of Speaker of the House when the congressional body begins their new session on January 3rd.
Not so fast.
While McCarthy might be the leading candidate to lead the House next year, some new revelations suggest that not only is it very possible he won’t get his “dream job” but the Republicans might begin the session with a fight that hasn’t been seen in a century.
Speaking with MSNBC, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) claimed that McCarthy — with an exceedingly slim GOP margin in the House predicted — doesn’t “have the votes” and is in “denial.”
If Biggs is correct, McCarthy will need to blend two things he isn’t exactly famous for in order to assume the speakership.
First, he is going to need to be a great diplomat. On one end of the spectrum, he has the very right wing “Freedom Caucus.” Over on the other end will be the moderates, many of which represent “swing districts” that can’t afford to alienate their constituents. McCarthy must find a way to thread the needle to appease both factions to get his magical 218 votes and obtain victory.
Also, he will need to show some spine. If McCarthy is to be any kind of effective speaker, he can’t let the inmates run the asylum, so to speak. At some point, he will need to present himself as the best option, even if he isn’t the perfect option to some.
Again, two things that Kevin McCarthy has never been known for is being a great diplomat or possess a steely spine.
If McCarthy can’t rally 218 House Republicans to vote for him, then it will be a fight. The last time that happened was a century ago in 1923. In that legislative session, it took nine votes before a majority was even reached.
It is also worth mentioning that until a Speaker is elected, no other business can be conducted in the body. If this goes beyond a little horse trading and evolves into a knock down, drag out fight — the entire Congressional body could be left impotent and unable to do anything for the American people. That might not sit well with voters. Remember, one only gets one chance to make a good first impression. If the GOP shows America that they can’t even pick a leader and can’t do anything for Americans, it might leave a bad taste in their collective mouths.
According to Biggs, that might be what happens.
“He doesn’t have the votes,” Biggs bluntly stated. “Some of the stages of grief include denial, so there will be some denial and then there’ll be the stage of bargaining where people are trying to figure out … will there be some kind of consensus candidate that emerges.”
Will there be a “consensus” candidate in a GOP House who’s constituents on opposite ends of the spectrum can’t agree on much? Time will tell.