On Monday afternoon leading into Tuesday’s slated vote, McCarthy was still not guaranteed the count, as entrenched opposition to his often-exhibited establishment leanings remained firm and additional possible challengers emerged as more conservative options.
“I think you’ll see on the second ballot an increasing number of members vote for a true candidate who can represent the conservative center of the conference, can motivate the base,” Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., told Fox News on Monday, according to The Hill.
Good was among several Republicans who started the New Year reiterating their opposition to making the current minority leader the new majority leader, making it clear that work still needs to be done to secure every vote of GOP’s slim majority.
McCarthy needs 218 votes to snatch the speaker’s gavel, and with no Democrat votes likely coming his way “will have to persuade nearly every one of the new session’s 222 GOP members to vote for him,” reported Zero Hedge. “Thanks to his party’s profound underperformance in the midterms, McCarthy is working with the slimmest majority for an aspiring first-time speaker since John Nance Garner in 1931.”
Faced with that reality, McCarthy has already made several concessions in an effort to woo some of this detractors over the fence, including a move to “vacate the chair,” which would trigger a vote on the ousting of the Speaker, with the approval of just five Republicans.
McCarthy also has agreed to create a House subcommittee on the “Weaponization of the Federal Government,” which would do more to hold the Biden regime accountable for its myriad transgressions.
The overtures were met with less than glowing accolades, with several Republicans who have yet to commit to giving McCarthy their votes saying the new commitments were too little, too late.
“Despite some progress achieved, Mr. McCarthy’s statement comes almost impossibly late to address continued deficiencies ahead of the opening of the 118th Congress on January 3rd,” the lawmakers wrote. “There continue to be missing specific commitments with respect to virtually every component of our entreaties.”
It's not the Kevin McCarthy in public you should be worried about. It's the Kevin McCarthy in private. This man is not a conservative.
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) January 2, 2023
Once the House starts business Tuesday, it shouldn’t take too long to determine whether McCarthy remains in trouble and needs to do more scrambling, according to Zero Hedge:
“Thanks to the fact that several of the rebellious GOP members come early in the alphabet — including Andy Biggs (AZ), Dan Bishop (NC), Andrew Clyde (GA), Eli Crane (AZ) — we may know quickly if McCarthy’s first-ballot hopes are likely to be dashed.”
Even after the McCarthy Machine’s attempts to whip votes and smear my name for several weeks, McCarthy is still well short of the 218 threshold.
Our party still requires new leadership and I will continue to oppose McCarthy for House Speaker.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) January 3, 2023