[Rushtalk] RINO McCarthy faces obstacles in Speaker bid

Carl Spitzer {C Juno} cwsiv at juno.com
Fri May 4 10:47:34 MDT 2018

McCarthy faces obstacles in Speaker bid
By Melanie Zanona - 04/17/18 06:00 AM EDT 2,035 


McCarthy faces obstacles in Speaker bid
© Greg Nash
Republican lawmakers see the race to succeed Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis
RyanPelosi: Questions still need to be answered about chaplain's
dismissal Ryan backs down on House chaplain resignation Read: House
Chaplain's letter rescinding resignation MORE (R-Wis.) as Kevin
McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report: Giuliani bombshell
draws Trump into Cohen legal mess Conservatives warn leadership to stay
out of Ohio GOP primary Vulnerable Republican fights for reelection and
vote on Dreamers MORE’s to lose.

As majority leader, the California Republican has the most direct path
to the job. He’s also picked up an official endorsement from Ryan and is
one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpStormy Daniels lawyer: There were
'extensive communications' on settling hush-money deal before election
Trump asks Pentagon to look at options for withdrawing troops from South
Korea: report Adelson helped arrange canceled Pruitt trip to Israel:
report MORE’s top allies on Capitol Hill.

“Kevin is in a very strong position,” Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey
ColeWhy congressional leadership might not be excited about the prospect
of earmarks returning Make-or-break moment for EPA chief Pruitt
Overnight Finance: Mulvaney remark on lobbyists stuns Washington |
Macron takes swipe at Trump tariffs | Conservatives eye tax cut on
capital gains | Gillibrand unveils post office banking bill | GOP
chairman pushes banks on gun policies MORE (R-Okla.), an ally of GOP
leadership, told The Hill. “Our leadership team has rallied around him,
he’s got a lot of goodwill, a lot of respect in our conference.”

“I believe that Kevin is in a very strong position to be our next
Speaker,” added Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), a member of the leadership

But there are a number of landmines standing between McCarthy and the
Speaker’s gavel, including conservative opposition and the possibility
that another candidate jumps into the race.

“This is politics. Nothing’s ever guaranteed. And nobody knows that
better than Kevin McCarthy,” said Cole.

Nearly three years ago, McCarthy was the odds-on favorite to succeed
retiring Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse chaplain rescinds
resignation Former Boehner chief named head of American Petroleum
Institute Chaplain controversy shifts spotlight to rising GOP star MORE
(R-Ohio) before his bid collapsed, leading to Ryan’s rise.

The reason was conservative opposition, the same problem that could
befall a McCarthy candidacy this year.

Some conservative members have vowed not to support any members of the
leadership team for Speaker. Ryan’s endorsement has done little to
change their minds.

“You have to totally change the order around here. It means a whole new
group of people who are actually running the House that reflects the
will of the people,” said Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashHarassment rules
play into race for Speaker We need more congressional oversight on
matters of war Some doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP
MORE (R-Mich.), a founding member of the conservative House Freedom

Time could also work against McCarthy.

Ryan is adamant that he plans to stick around as Speaker until January,
saying he would not hold leadership elections until after the November

But some lawmakers on Capitol Hill predict it will be difficult for
McCarthy to maintain his front-runner status for seven months. The
longer his candidacy hangs out there, they say, the more time there will
be to attract scrutiny.

“If this election goes six months, there’s going to be a lot of scrutiny
once you become the favorite,” said libertarian Rep. Thomas MassieThomas
Harold MassieAfter speech, GOP rep calls Macron 'socialist militarist
globalist' Some doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP Trump
draws criticism from his base over Syria MORE (R-Ky.).

Supporters of McCarthy have been making this argument, arguing it is in
his interest to move up the election.

McCarthy needs 218 votes on the floor to win the Speakership, however,
and he’s not there yet.

There does not appear to be friction between McCarthy and Ryan, despite
the Speaker’s desire to stay on through this Congress and the fact that
McCarthy allies would like to have the election sooner.

And some Republicans say they believe Ryan should relinquish the gavel
if McCarthy can show that he can reach the 218-vote threshold indicating
that the conference will back him as the next Speaker in a floor vote.

"If you think you've got things ready to go, it's like hey, you probably
ought to do it," said Rep. Mark AmodeiMark Eugene AmodeiMcCarthy faces
obstacles in Speaker bid Ryan challenger raised more than M last quarter
Juan Williams: GOP fears anti-Trump wave MORE (R-Nev.).

If the GOP loses the House, it could be easier for McCarthy to be
elected minority leader.

That vote would take place behind closed doors, and the winner would
just need a simple majority of the conference.

Some members say they prefer that scenario to a pre-election floor vote.

“I’d rather Paul finish out his term as Speaker than go through the
whole ordeal of selecting another Speaker,” said retiring Rep. Charlie
DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentGOP lawmaker knocks Sanders: How does
she go to work every day? Pennsylvania governor schedules special House
elections for November May brings key primaries across nation MORE

Other candidates could still jump into the leadership fight, which would
add another curveball in the Speaker’s race.

House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseThe costs
of carbon taxes are real — and crippling GOP rep faces old foe in N.C.
primary House GOP chair calls for investigation into FBI’s Clinton
Foundation probe MORE (R-La.) signaled in a statement following Ryan’s
endorsement that he also would be backing McCarthy, but he is clearly
waiting in the wings if McCarthy can’t get to 218 votes.

In the meantime, Scalise can make moves to bolster his chances; next
month, he is slated to attend a breakfast fundraiser for Freedom Caucus
Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.).

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanOn World Press Freedom Day,
elected officials must commit to keeping press freedom nonpartisan
Conservatives warn leadership to stay out of Ohio GOP primary Election
analyst sees Dem chances improving in Ohio special election MORE
(R-Ohio), a conservative ringleader and founding member of the Freedom
Caucus, is also eyeing a Speaker’s bid.

It’s highly unlikely that the six-term lawmaker could garner the 218
votes needed to become Speaker. But if Jordan threw his hat in the ring,
that could draw dozens of conservative votes away from the probable
front-runner and step up the likelihood that McCarthy would seek to cut
a deal with the Freedom Caucus.

The band of roughly 30 conservative hard-liners has enough members to
block any hopeful from securing the votes needed to win. The group may
try to leverage their Speaker votes for the promise of better committee
assignments or a spot at the leadership table.

The dynamic is a repeat of 2015, the last time McCarthy ran for Speaker.
Freedom Caucus leaders attempted to cut a deal with him, promising to
back him for the top job if he pledged support for one of their own
conservative members to become majority leader.

“McCarthy couldn’t deliver that,” said one GOP lawmaker close to
leadership last week. “They were asking for something he couldn’t
deliver. But the truth is they’ve got the votes to ask for something

Scott Wong contributed.


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