Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy Face Possibility Of Being Removed From Leadership


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Senate Minority Leader, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader and California Rep. Kevin McCarthy are in a jam and their dreams of staying party leaders are in jeopardy.

Republicans are still likely to win a tiny majority in the House, not the red wave they expected, but what was considered a forgone conclusion a month ago, Rep. McCarthy becoming Speaker, is in danger.

A letter asking to postpone leadership elections was circulated among members by some high profile lawmakers, including Sens. Ron Johnson, Mike Lee and Rick Scott, Politico reported.

“We need to have serious discussions within our conference as to why and what we can do to improve our chances in 2024,” they said. “Holding leadership elections without hearing from the candidates as to how they will perform their leadership duties and before we know whether we will be in the majority or even who all our members are violates the most basic principles of a democratic process. It is certainly not the way leadership elections should be conducted in the world’s greatest deliberative body.”

It could also mean that  Sen. McConnell may not remain as the Senate Majority Leader.


Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also called for the leadership elections to be postponed.

“The Senate GOP leadership vote next week should be postponed First we need to make sure that those who want to lead us are genuinely committed to fighting for the priorities & values of the working Americans (of every background) who gave us big wins in states like #Florida,” he said.

Texas Rep. Chip Roy penned a piece for The Washington Examiner in which he criticized the Republican Party leadership.

“The House ‘leadership’ play, from top to bottom, was to offer an eleventh-hour, tepid, and weak ‘Commitment to America,’ which few people knew about, much less cared about, and which said both everything and nothing,” he said. “Perhaps well-intentioned to involve rank-and-file members through ‘task forces,’ the leadership failed to produce the kind of concrete plan and bold strategy the moment required.”

McCarthy could have issues as the House Freedom Caucus has threatened to withhold its votes unless he gives them some concessions, the Washington Examiner reported. That has prompted one Republican Representative, Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego, of suggesting that Rep. McCarthy speak to Democrats and attempt to get some of their votes.


“Just cut a deal with the Dems Kevin. Whatever you get from Freedom Caucus will not be worth it. The odds will be good but the goods will be odd,” he said.

With the Freedom Caucus having played a key role in pushing former Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to step down and demanding changes to the motion to vacate the chair to ease the process of ousting a sitting speaker, one Democratic member argued that a McCarthy speakership may have more staying power if he doesn’t strike a deal with his conservative critics.


“If he asks, [it could be a possibility]. Either you can be speaker for two years and go cash out on Wall Street or be speaker for three months and get pushed out by the Freedom Caucus,” one lawmaker said, adding that the specific demands that could be made that would be palatable enough to get the Democrats on board are “above my pay grade, but that is what I would do.”

The member added that they believe McCarthy is “so vapid and desperate for power” they could likely extract a lot out of the California Republican.

“Won’t know that until the dust settles, the margin is determined, and how badly McCarthy needs some Dem support. Anything is possible,” another Congressperson said. “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, not in speakership races.”


One progressive Congressmember said that a deal with Rep. McCarthy could be possible if the alternative was a more extreme Republican as Speaker.

“I doubt it, but I guess if the alternative is [Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)], could be possible. I think it’d be more about the alternative than anything he could give,” the member said.


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