OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has issued a stark warning to his fellow Republicans. He wants them to know if they mess around with their votes for Speaker, and stage protest votes, it could give the Democrats the chance to elect the Speaker of the House.
“We’ve had a couple of these folks that say that they won’t vote for you on the show. When we ask them what they want. They list a couple rules, concessions that they want. And we say, well, if you get those concessions, will you vote for McCarthy, ‘Well, we’re not sure,’” Newsmax host Sean Spicer said.
“Well, then who do you want your candidate to be? ‘We don’t know that.’ You know, one can’t one of those people suggested Jim Jordan, he supporting you, Marjorie Taylor Greene is supporting you, Donald Trump supporting you,” the host said.
“You’ve raised, what, $500 million? Some of these people, you’ve actually funded their races. The thing that I don’t understand is I don’t envy your task. These folks aren’t giving you a target. I get your point. There’s no alternative. Everybody has voted for you. The conference has spoken. And as James Comer at the top of that clip said, you know, you’ve earned the opportunity. You were the quarterback, the coach that led them to the big game and won,” he said.
“So the question is, going back to what Lindsay said. You’ve got five people that you’ve laid out all your cards out there. What is it that you are able to say to them that is going to change them at this point to get you 218?” he said.
“Well, we have to listen, but you have to listen to everybody in the conference because five people on any side can stop anything when you’re in the majority. I think when you look at the past history, when Paul Ryan ran, he had more people vote against him in the conference and then they voted for him on the floor,” the minority leader said.
“We got five more weeks. We’re working through our conference rules today. We want to make sure that everybody has input, but we have to speak as one voice. We will only be successful if we work together or we’ll lose individually,” he said.
“This is very fragile that we are the only stopgap for this Biden administration. And if we don’t do this right, the Democrats can take the majority. If we play games on the floor, the Democrats could end up picking who the speaker is,” the minority leader said in a warning.
“So I think at the end of the day, calmer heads will prevail. We’ll work together to find the best path forward. And I believe at the end of the day, since I’ve been leader, all we’ve done is been able to gain seats. We have not lost seats,” he said.
We’ve won seats each and every time where the rest of the Republicans have lost. So I think at the end of the day, we’ll find the right path and we’ll make the American public proud of what we’re able to accomplish and turn this economy back around because we’re going to focus on the people, not on politics,” he said.
McCarthy has some major plans for when Republicans officially are in charge of the House.
On January 3, day one of the 118th Congress, the man presumed to be the next Speaker of the House wants the entire Constitution read into the Congressional record.
“On the very first day of the new Republican-led Congress, we will read every single word of the Constitution aloud from the floor of the House—something that hasn’t been done in years,” he said.
On the very first day of the new Republican-led Congress, we will read every single word of the Constitution aloud from the floor of the House—something that hasn't been done in years.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 25, 2022
In 2011 Republicans made the reading of the Constitution an annual tradition, but it presumably stopped when Democrats regained the House in 2018, The Western Journal reported.
The reading of the Constitution in the House could be compared to an older Senate tradition in which President George Washington’s Farewell Address is read aloud by senators.
That annual tradition dates back to 1896 and is practiced regardless of the upper chamber’s partisan majority.
As the leader of the Republican Party’s caucus in the House, McCarthy is slated to take the role of speaker of the House from Nancy Pelosi in January.
McCarthy already won an internal GOP leadership contest, surviving a symbolic challenge from Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs.
But he’ll need to be elected speaker on the House floor, and he isn’t a sure bet to secure the speakership with ease.