Anti-Kevin McCarthy Republicans Make Their Demands and Reveal How Far They Are Willing to Go

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Things are moving quickly Tuesday morning as the first vote on who will be the Speaker of the House approaches.

A small group of Republicans is locked in a fierce battle with most of their caucus in a bid to deny Kevin McCarthy the speakership. Now, we are getting details on what their demands are.


The first demand was understandably a non-starter. No Speaker is going to let five members out of over 200 Republicans dictate specific committee assignments because that would effectively neuter the rest of the caucus. The other members would revolt and never accept that.

On the other hand, I’ve got no problem at all with the new Church Committee, which will investigate corruption within the government (i.e. FBI, CIA, etc.) getting a larger budget than the January 6th committee. Why wouldn’t it? The depth of misconduct involved is far more extensive and complicated than a three-hour riot. As to who should control it, it is the Freedom Caucus that has fought tooth and nail to get us this far on the issue. Why not let them lead the way?

Another sticking point is McCarthy’s unwillingness to promise votes on conservative policies like the Fair Tax Act and term limits. I don’t see the issue there either. Yeah, they’d fail, but so what? The idea that it’s somehow bad for a party to vote on things is dumb. Voters would rather see their representatives go on record than continue to have leadership gatekeep the way the Pelosi-led House did. McCarthy would do well to not fight on points that aren’t worth fighting over.


With that said, those fighting against McCarthy aren’t doing so without risks, and per a meeting that took place with McCarthy on Monday, they are apparently willing to take them.

Allowing Hakeem Jeffries to become the Speaker with the idea that they could oppose him (from the position of the minority) is quite the threat from Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, and Steve Perry. I’m not sure it’s one they’d actually be willing to back up, as it would undoubtedly mean the end of their political careers and complete ostracization from the party. Of course, they are likely making the threat knowing it’s an idle one.

Still, it is possible that Jeffries could benefit if Republicans botch the process. Multiple times in US history, the House has voted to allow a plurality to select the Speaker of the House. If a few Republicans get frustrated and vote with Democrats to change the rules, there’s a scenario where Jeffries would be selected if the anti-McCarthy group holds the line. But again, that would take the GOP completely losing track of the process and members on both sides of the debate going outrageously rogue. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.



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