Number of Republicans Pledge to Vote for McCarthy


    A majority of Republicans have said they are planning to support House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for Speaker, no matter how long the process of voting becomes, according to letters circulated by Republicans this week.

    The letters, first covered by Politico the magazine, were sent by Republican Main Street Caucus leaders as well as the group of Republicans who were elected to districts president Joe Biden carried in 2020.

    In the letter by the Main Street Caucus which was released on Friday, the chairman Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and vice-chair Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK) stated that more than 70 members of the caucus have reached a “strong consensus” that they will vote for McCarthy and do not want to support negotiations behind the scenes which “reward chaos” and that are not likely to “expediently” result in McCarthy's election.

    “Members of the Main Street Caucus will hold the line,” Johnson and Bice wrote. “Kevin McCarthy is best prepared to lead the 118th Congress, and we are prepared to vote for him for as long as it takes.”

    Furthermore, fifteen Republican members  who won districts Biden was elected in wrote a strong letter to their fellow members on Thursday, stating that the “are not open to any so-called shadow ‘consensus candidate'” and that they will support McCarthy “regardless of how many votes it takes.”

    The letter, written by Rep.-elect Mike Lawler (R-NY), was also a warning of the fact that “a protracted floor fight over the Speakership will not only prevent” the House from having the ability to conduct important business, and conduct any business, but “will also send the wrong message to the American people at the very moment they entrusted us with governing.”

    The vote to elect the speaker has to be held at the beginning of the new Congress on the 3rd of January before any other activities could take place in the House, such as the vote on House rules or legislation, as well as conducting hearings.

    Five Republicans, Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Ralph Norman (R-NC), Matt Rosendale (R-MT) as well as Bob Good (R-VA), have announced publicly that they will vote against McCarthy as well as a few others who have publicly expressed doubt. The ones who aren't sure, mostly members of those in the House Freedom Caucus, have suggested a variety of rule changes which include allowing a motion to remove the chair. These could influence their choice.

    With Republicans holding a narrow majority within the House, McCarthy can only manage a handful of departures, or he could risk not gaining the required majority of votes required to be successful.

    The 15 Republicans said they'd be willing to support rules modifications “if, and only if doing so will bring our conference together around Speaker-designate McCarthy.”

    The letter they wrote reads:

    In the last few weeks, Speaker-designate McCarthy has been embracing a variety of conferences and House rules changes to ensure that the House is operating in a more transparent manner. While we recognize that the intent behind these changes is to give more power to every Member and to create more efficient legislative processes, we are concerned that some of the modifications could accidentally give greater power for our Democrat colleagues. However, we are prepared to accept these changes, but only if they make our conference more cohesive around the Speaker-designate McCarthy as our choice for Speaker.


    The people who have said that they will not support McCarthy, in general because they believe him to be a untrustworthy established figure, haven't explained how a candidate who is more conservative than McCarthy can get most of the votes required for the speakership to prevail which means that Tuesday may be heading towards an unsettling stalemate or doomsday scenario in the event that the vote not go without a hitch.


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