Republicans in the House of Representatives have just assumed for months that they will win the majority back and Kevin McCarthy will become House Speaker. While it looks as they will win the house, as several close races are still being called days after the election, they seem to have forgotten that in 2015, “bomb-throwers in the House Freedom Caucus derailed Kevin McCarthy’s quest to become speaker,” and look to do it again, according to NBC News.
The ultraconservative, Trump-supporting group are once again ready to cause headaches for McCarthy as he makes another run at the speaker job, something he has spent years trying to line himself up for.
If Republicans do indeed win, they will have a razor-thin majority, meaning McCarthy’s would likely have a much harder time getting the party to agree on agenda and policy.
While those House Freedom Caucus members threaten to withhold their votes for McCarthy, some Democrats have floated the idea of McCarthy attempting to reach across the aisle for support from the other party.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D. AZ) tweeted:
“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.”
Another Democratic member argued anonymously that a McCarthy speakership may be more powerful if he doesn’t strike a deal with the far right caucus:
“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…(that is) above my pay grade, but that is what I would do.”
That congressperson added that they personally believe McCarthy is “so vapid and desperate for power” that Democrats could use that to their advantage:
“Won’t know that until the dust settles, the margin is determined, and how badly McCarthy needs some Dem support. Anything is possible. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, not in speakership races.”
Another progressive Rep said that compared to the ultra-right alternative, McCarthy may not be the worst thing that could happen:
“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.”
Centrist Democrats will likely not be on board with such a plan, with one noting:
“Under no circumstances would just about any Dem ever vote for someone who has downplayed Jan. 6. I’m one of the most bipartisan people in the place, and the thought of supporting him makes me laugh. It’s an insane proposition to consider supporting someone like him. I would never do that. No Dem with principles and a belief in democracy would ever do that.”