Indicating that Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s efforts to appease detractors were “insufficient” and that a “radical break from the current quo” was required, nine House Republicans who were undecided about McCarthy’s campaign for speaker on Sunday.
Prior to Tuesday’s speaker vote, the legislators, led by Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, leader of the House Freedom Caucus, and Chip Roy of Texas, expressed their unhappiness in a public letter. In an effort to resolve “longstanding and severe dysfunction,” the lawmakers stated that Mr. McCarthy had made compromises on House rules, but that the action had come too late.
They stated, “At this juncture, it cannot be a surprise that expressions of hazy hopes expressed in far too many of the essential items currently under discussion are insufficient.
The lawmakers said, “This is particularly true with respect to Mr. McCarthy’s bid for speaker since the times need radical departure from the current quo — not a continuation of previous, and ongoing, Republican failures.
The nine House Republicans further stated that Mr. McCarthy, who has held leadership positions within the GOP since 2009, “bears fully the task to remedy the dysfunction” ailing the chamber. The letter is in response to a number of concessions Mr. McCarthy made to the GOP caucus on Sunday.
The most major concession made by Mr. McCarthy relates to a congressional law that makes it simpler to dismiss a House speaker.
Currently, only a member of leadership can propose a move to resign the chair due to a change that California Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced through in 2019.
One of the main demands of conservative hard-liners inside the Republican conference has been the parliamentary gambit, which necessitates a vote on the speaker’s retention. If at least five members of the House concur, Mr. McCarthy has proposed allowing a motion to leave the chair to be put to a vote.
Some hardliners feel that the concession is insufficient and advocate giving any member of the House the authority to propose a vote on the speaker’s retention at any moment.
The nine House Republicans stated in their letter that they “have made clear from the beginning that we will not accept following Nancy Pelosi’s example by shielding leadership in this fashion.”
Reps. Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Andy Harris of Maryland, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Andrew Clyde of Georgia, in addition to Mr. Perry and Mr. Roy, also signed the letter. Republican representatives-elect Andy Ogles of Tennessee, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, and Eli Crane of Arizona all signed on as well.
For Mr. McCarthy, the attitudes of the nine GOP legislators here are troubling. The California Republican, who assisted his party in gaining the majority in the House this election, is having trouble securing the support necessary to take over as speaker. Officially, if all 435 members of the House are in attendance and cast ballots when the legislature convenes on Tuesday, 218 votes are required to secure the speakership.
Five Republican legislators have already vowed to vote against Mr. McCarthy when the House convenes on Tuesday to choose a speaker, in addition to those who have signed the letter. McCarthy cannot afford to lose more than four votes because the upcoming GOP majority is only 222 seats.
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