A former Republican aide to two past GOP House speakers said in an op-ed published Monday that a “self-serving” move by a small group of Republicans could deny House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the speakership. A “mockery” of the institution of Congress.
Brendan Pugh, a communications consultant who previously worked for former Speakers John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), told The New York Times. op-ed Hopes that a “regularly contested” and “swift” Congress would be better than the last would “immediately shatter” if the House failed to elect a Speaker on the first ballot.
Buck said that “a small group of Republican misfits” had pledged to vote against McCarthy for the speakership, and that only five Republican votes against him would deny him the role. He said McCarthy “has to do everything fairly” to get the votes he needs to win on the first ballot.
“Otherwise, a self-serving power play by a small group of Republicans threatens to make a mockery of the establishment and further cement the perception that the party is unprepared to lead,” Buck wrote.
McCarthy needs to win a majority of House members to become speaker, but the GOP’s slim majority of 222 GOP members can’t buy more than four votes.
A group of at least five Republicans have either publicly said or strongly indicated they will not support McCarthy for speaker, which would be enough to deny him a win on at least the first ballot. A large number of Republicans have demanded that McCarthy accept certain provisions to gain their support.
McCarthy Will be given A set of House rules proposed Sunday includes a series of concessions to his opponents, but it’s unclear whether they will be enough to win him the support he needs.
Buck noted that the last time the House did not elect a speaker on the first ballot was a century ago, and it has only happened once since the Civil War. He said a failed vote would weaken McCarthy or whoever becomes the next speaker.
“But no matter who ultimately emerges as the top House Republican, a prolonged showdown will hopelessly damage the Republican majority from the start.
Buck said the House could not conduct any other business until a Speaker was elected and the selection process would take time even if it went smoothly.
If McCarthy doesn’t win on the first ballot, he said, the House would allow members to give speeches in support of the nominee, which he said could “unleash a circus” in which GOP opponents of McCarthy question his fitness for the job on the floor.
Buck also predicted that Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who is bidding against McCarthy, will not win the chairmanship and will be replaced by another Republican if McCarthy loses.
“But the aim of the rebels is not to win the speakership for one of them; This is Mr. It is meant to weaken McCarthy or whoever becomes the next Speaker of the House. Embarrassment may actually be the point,” Buck wrote.