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Tags: house | speaker | kevin mccarthy | gop | opponents | division | andy biggs

Rep. Kevin McCarthy to Newsmax: Dems Could Pick Speaker If GOP Isn't Careful

(Newsmax/"Spicer & Co.")

By    |   Tuesday, 29 November 2022 11:34 AM EST

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Newsmax that Democrats could end up choosing the next speaker if members of the GOP conference "play games."

McCarthy discussed on Monday's "Spicer & Co." how he is trying to assure receiving enough votes for House speaker, despite at least five Republican members so far refusing to support him.

Newsmax projects the GOP will hold a 220-213 seat edge with two midterm races still uncalled. Republicans currently lead both races, making a 9-seat majority possible.

"We have to speak as one voice. We will only be successful if we work together, or we'll lose individually," McCarthy told co-hosts Sean Spicer and Lindsay Keith. "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 can end up picking who the speaker is."

Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Ralph Norman, R-S.C., Bob Good, R-Va., and Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., have said or indicated they do not back McCarthy for speaker, despite the Californian winning a 188-31 vote in the GOP conference.

A speaker can be elected with less than 218 votes if there are absences or vacancies or if some members vote "present."

Keith asked McCarthy what he was doing to win over his colleagues votes.

"Well, it's not 'win over the votes.' We're going to have to work as a conference together," said the leader, who then took a worst-case approach. "We only have a five-seat majority. It's actually the complete difference of where the Democrats were, exactly same numbers. We can do a lot, but we're going to have to work together to make that happen."

McCarthy's opponents cite various issues, such as his resistance to Freedom Caucus rules change requests that would give more power to rank-and-file members, and his unwillingness to commit to impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

"You have to listen to everybody in the conference because five people on any side can stop anything when you're in the majority," McCarthy told Spicer.

"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, we won seats each and every time — where the rest of Republicans have lost.

"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."

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Newsmax that Democrats could end up choosing the next speaker if members of the GOP conference "play games."
house, speaker, kevin mccarthy, gop, opponents, division, andy biggs, house freedom caucus
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2022-34-29
Tuesday, 29 November 2022 11:34 AM
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