WASHINGTON — Representative Kevin McCarthy of California reversed himself Thursday to try to win over right-wing holdouts as his fight to become speaker headed into a fourth day, making concessions that undermine his authority. and empowered a hard right wing.
After a humiliating three-day stretch of 11 consecutive defeats in the longest contest since 1859, Mr McCarthy sent his emissaries to negotiate a settlement with the ultra-conservative rebels, including agreeing to terms they was rejected earlier. face in a last-ditch effort to influence a critical mass of defectors.
These included allowing a legislator to force a snap vote at any time to oust the speaker, a rule that would effectively codify a permanent threat that Mr. McCarthy would be at the mercy of the right wing at all times, and immediately can be removed. if he crossed them.
That concession and several others, which Mr. McCarthy hoped would win over a large group of dissidents, would significantly reduce the speaker’s power and create a fraught atmosphere in the House, where a thin Republican majority and a starving The right-wing disorder had already promised to make it difficult to govern.
Few of the changes left little doubt that the House would struggle in the coming two years to meet even its most basic duties, such as funding the government, including the military, or avoiding a catastrophic federal debt default. Already, the conflict has brought the House to a standstill as Republicans assume their majority, preventing any lawmakers from taking the oath, adopting rules or conducting legislative business.
Lawmakers were losing their security clearance, and a House committee confirmed that, if no resolution was reached by next week, congressional aides working for the committees could not be paid, as the House adjourned on January 13. Will not have the authority to process payroll on the next payroll. deadline.
But people close to Mr. McCarthy said they hoped the agreement would soon take hold enough to support him, as of Thursday night no votes had been cast, and it was not known whether he would have the converts needed to prevail. Can pick people up – or how long it can take. As the talks continued, the House was adjourned for the third consecutive day without a speaker.
Frequently Asked Questions: Speakership Impasse in the House
a historic impasse. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California is vying to become House speaker, but a group of right-wing Republicans is blocking his bid and crippling the start of a new Congress. Here’s what to know:
As he left the House floor on Thursday night, Mr McCarthy said the talks had made “little movement” and denied that the concessions he had offered would curtail his ability to speak.
“Did it reduce the power of all the other speakers?” he replied, after a reporter asked whether allowing a snap vote to remove him would weaken him. “So why would it bite me? If I were afraid of it it would only be a weak speaker.
In fact, the specter of such a vote allowed right-wing lawmakers to oust John A. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, from the speakership in 2015, and his successor Paul D.
But Mr McCarthy appeared unfazed by the events of the past week.
In his most extensive remarks to reporters since the election began on Tuesday, he said, “the entire convention needs to learn how to work together.” “So it’s better we go through the process now.”
He later added: “If it takes a little longer, and it doesn’t meet your deadline, that’s okay. Because it doesn’t matter how you start, it matters how you finish.” Huh.”
The spectacle of Mr. McCarthy repeatedly bending himself over to appease the hard-right faction only seemed to fuel protests from some of his opponents, who see the Republican leader’s maneuvering as a confirmation of his point of view. Believed California lacked principle and would do anything to make up for it. power.
“There is no concession,” said Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado. “The deal is over with him. He doesn’t have the votes. He won’t be the speaker.”
The scene on the House floor Thursday was one of hard-right lawmakers again and again denying the humiliation of being defeated on vote after vote by Mr. McCarthy, even as he supported his allies led by Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina. Talked with privately. , It foreshadows two years of procrastination, from a slim majority, a hard-right wing that disdains the normal operation of government and a leader willing to wield the power of the speaker’s gavel in his quest to figure it out .
Still, aides to Mr. McCarthy expressed hope that the concessions he agreed to would appeal to enough Republicans that the small remaining group of lawmakers who have said they would never support California’s bid remain isolated. Will fall, and will be forced to retreat.
Mr. McHenry said, “Each hour has been successively better than the last.” “Obviously, we didn’t start out on a very high note, but we’re getting to a pretty good place now.”
It doesn’t seem to happen now. Ms Boebert, who offered her name on Thursday to Representative Kevin Hearn of Oklahoma, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, declared on the House floor hours earlier: “We need to get to the point where we begin to evaluate Here’s what life after Kevin McCarthy looks like.
With all members of the House present and elected to vote, Mr. McCarthy would need 218 votes to become speaker, leaving little room for Republican defections, as the party controls only 222 seats. He has consistently fallen well below that level this week, pulling no more than 203 votes even as his Democratic counterpart, Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, won 212, with every member of his party rallying behind him. went. On Thursday, Mr McCarthy’s numbers fell to 201.
To win the Speaker’s gavel, Mr. McCarthy would have to turn down the support of all but four or five defectors. There are at least three legislators who have emerged as leaders of the “Never Kevin” movement, including Ms. Boebert and Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Bob Good of Virginia.
On his way to the Capitol, Mr. Good told a reporter, “If I’m not there, you don’t have to ask me again.” “I will never vote for Kevin McCarthy.”
Mr McCarthy’s allies, who haggled all day, were more amenable to trying to break the impasse with a group of defectors anyway, with some negotiators losing votes as they bartered back and forth.
“The devil is in the details,” said Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina, when asked whether he would be willing to vote for McCarthy in exchange for sweeping concessions.
The Republican leader also committed to allowing the right-wing faction to elect a third of the party’s members on the powerful Rules Committee, which controls what legislation reaches the floor and in what form, a person involved in the negotiations. according to who described them on condition of anonymity. Mr McCarthy also said he would open government spending bills to a free debate in which any legislator could force votes on proposed changes, including measures designed to reduce or overwhelm.
Rebels have agitated for that change in an effort to give rank-and-file lawmakers more power over the federal purse strings, rather than senior politicians who typically have carte blanche over such legislation. This could make it impossible to pass the spending bill in the House, which could lead to a government shutdown.
As private talks with dissidents got underway and seemingly endless filed votes continued on the floor of the House, some MPs resigned themselves to dead-eyed positions of arrested development, horribly slurred by caffeinated drinks. Walking around the room wondering how they got to this point.
“Can Congress declare war now? Is there anything we can do?” asked Representative Mike Gallagher, Republican of Wisconsin.
Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska, a moderate who has been sparing in his criticism of the hard right, suggested that the rebellion would not be easily forgotten.
“I am a Christian, I believe in forgiving; I can forgive the person,” he said. “But when it comes to the professional, who do you trust? There’s a lot of trust burned here.
Reporting was contributed by Annie Carney, luke broadwater, Emily Cochrane, Christopher Cameron, Stephanie Lai, zach montage And Michael Gold,
#House #adjourns #speaker #McCarthy #offers #concession