The political knife fighting in the US House has begun in earnest….
CNN: “With the increasing likelihood that the speaker’s race could go to multiple ballots – something that hasn’t happened since 1923 – McCarthy’s allies and foes alike are starting to quietly game out the next steps if he can’t get the necessary 218 votes on the first round and they move into uncharted territory.”
“McCarthy’s supporters are vowing to keep voting for him on multiple ballots, and GOP sources said there are early discussions about a floor strategy for that potential scenario, including whether to recess the House or let the votes keep rolling – no matter how long it takes.”
“Last night, seven members of the House Freedom Caucus circulated a Dear Colleague letter dictating their requirements for any candidate for speaker in yet the latest sign that House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has some serious negotiating to do before he wins the gavel,” Politico reports.
Key among their demands is to reinstate the “motion to vacate” — basically, allowing any member of the House to force a vote to oust the sitting speaker.
“The seven members on the letter are completely separate from the five other conservatives who have voiced their intention to vote against McCarthy regardless of what assurances he makes.”
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) met with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of McCarthy’s top critics in his bid for House Speaker, Punchbowl News reports.
After the meeting, Gaetz reiterated that he was still opposed to McCarthy’s candidacy.
Here’s a listing of some the Freedom Caucus demands….
- Restore any member’s ability to make a “Motion to Vacate the Chair” and force a vote on removing the Speaker. Former Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a founding Freedom Caucus member, helped propel former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) toward retirement by making a motion to vacate the chair in 2015.
- Require at least 72 hours from release of final bill text before it gets a vote on the House floor.
- Bar House GOP leadership and leadership-affiliated PACs from getting involved in primaries. The McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund was active in many House primaries boosting McCarthy-friendly candidates in the 2022 cycle.
- Increase the number of Freedom Caucus members in committee chairmanships and on the House Rules Committee…