As if the Speaker’s race in the House weren’t already swirling with intrigue, a new potential wrinkle is being reported by CNN. Reports are that some McCarthy allies are pushing to adjourn Wednesday ahead of the anticipated fourth vote for Speaker.
Here’s the catch: 218 votes are needed to adjourn and, just as the GOP hasn’t managed to get 218 of its members on board with a vote for McCarthy, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to get 218 on board for another adjournment — and there’s no indication any Democrats will break ranks in an effort to assist. All signs indicate they’re rather enjoying this tussle.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 4, 2023
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and his allies are holding active discussions about adjourning the House until Thursday — but they are uncertain to go that route because they may not have the votes to pull it off, according to multiple sources.
McCarthy and his team are fearful that if they go to a fourth ballot they could lose more votes, something that could undercut their claims of regaining momentum. That is why they have discussed adjourning the House until tomorrow — but to do that, they need 218 votes, which they don’t have.
Their hope is that furious negotiations that have happened since yesterday evening through this morning have peeled away some of the no-votes and given McCarthy forward momentum ahead of a critical fourth ballot. But, he is still unlikely to get 218 votes on that ballot to win the speakership.
One is forced to wonder: If McCarthy can’t persuade 218 Republicans to vote for him, how is he going to manage to get 218 of them to agree to adjourn and assist his efforts to secure the speakership?
Additionally, for those worried about the optics, how does it benefit McCarthy to put off another vote? Does that not further highlight the difficulty he’s having building the requisite consensus? Of course, the counter-argument to that is if they proceed with the fourth vote and he loses again — and possibly even loses ground, won’t that be even worse for him?
Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the rooms where those “furious negotiations” are taking place. Will they bear fruit? We’ll soon find out.