What are the odds that the Republican Party can pull it together enough in the new Congress to actually get something done? The House is probably going to land with a 222-213 majority for the GOP. This slim majority will be similar to what Nancy Pelosi faced with the Democratic majority of the outgoing Congress.
It takes 218 votes to pass a bill, so what that means is if five Republicans decide to defect from the party line, the bill will go south unless the GOP can swing some Democrats across the aisle. But needing Democrats when you can’t get your own party in line is not what you want.
This problem makes the position of the Speaker even more important. The person has to be able to command respect or at least be somewhat feared for the influence they can muster.
Kevin McCarthy is the one the party seems to have chosen. He was challenged for his position by Arizona Representative Andy Biggs, and McCarthy won without a problem by a vote of 188-31.
McCarthy most likely can get 218 GOP votes on most issues and he has a pretty good relationship with a handful of Democrats who remain in the House. He might be able to garner what looks like some bipartisanship.
There is a chance that McCarthy will struggle to get the Speaker’s gavel. The problem may center on the House Freedom Caucus. They are attempting to trade their support for a guarantee by McCarthy that he will embrace their package of rule changes. These changes will take some power from some of McCarthy’s friends and enable more representatives to be engaged.
So who knows if McCarthy will be willing to bow to their demands, and if he does, what does that mean for the kind of leadership he will be able to display in the future?
Let the games begin.
Rep. Bacon message to HFC: “We’re going to do vote after vote … for Kevin and if they refuse to play ball—that’s why I’m saying we’re willing to work across the aisle to get an agreeable Republican—but we’re not going to get pushed around”
Says back up won’t be who HFC wants
— Jordain Carney (@jordainc) November 30, 2022