Image source: Dallas Morning News
Kevin McCarthy: On Thursday, Kevin McCarthy’s string of defeats across many voting rounds continued.
The third day of adjournment came and went without selecting a new speaker.
The three-day adjournment was the longest in more than 164 years for a contest.
As the number of unsuccessful votes rose, McCarthy came under increasing pressure to end the impasse.
Given how bleak things seem for his political future, it will be intriguing to see if he can follow through.
The California Republican made considerable concessions to his rivals late on Wednesday, but he still fell short of the 218 votes required to assume the gavel.
Defections and a loss of support as the GOP leader might jeopardize his career if the dispute continues.
Following the Thursday adjournment, Kevin McCarthy said that talks were still going on, but he would not give a “timeline” for the 218 votes.
“So if this takes a little longer and it doesn’t meet your deadline, that’s okay,” said the Republican.
McCarthy responded to criticisms that the problem had not been resolved in time for this week’s speaker election.
He said they tried to get everything worked out before January 3.
Republicans have had discussions to decide on a future course.
According to a source, McCarthy’s supporters and opponents tried to push for a deal on Thursday night to show that they were making progress.
While it seems like they have made a lot of progress, there are still a few things to iron out.
It’s also a problem that four Republicans are leaving on Friday due to various family issues.
Several sources claim that an agreement between Rep. Chip Roy of Texas and McCarthy’s team is about to be finalized.
If they can reach a consensus, they will have the support to ask for a late conference adjournment.
But that wouldn’t be enough; McCarthy still wouldn’t have the 218 votes he needed.
Others in the group are still struggling with unresolved concerns.
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Legislators and moderates are dissatisfied and frustrated with the concessions.
Many believe that while the new GOP majority may encounter challenges in its efforts to rule, they will ultimately be overcome.
Despite the tough headwinds on Thursday, Kevin McCarthy showed a relentless mentality.
He said that he would continue to encounter opposition unless he came to an agreement with his detractors.
“It’s all going to be this way until an agreement comes,” said the Republican.
“It’s easier if we’re able to all get an agreement together.”
On Wednesday night, rumors of a number of additional concessions began to spread.
Two sources claim that Kevin McCarthy was open to changing the rules, so one member may ask for a vote to oust the current speaker.
Instead of the requirement stipulated in the conference rules that such a vote be made by half of the GOP, he initially proposed a five-member barrier.
After the House adjourned on Thursday, McCarthy told reporters he wasn’t concerned about giving just one member the power to call a vote without consulting the speaker.
“I’m not afraid,” he said, “I won’t be a weaker speaker.”
Kevin McCarthy also gave his approval for the House Rules Committee to include more Freedom Caucus members.
The Committee determines which bills should be taken to the floor and which ones should be given priority for the holdouts.
It also includes recommendations for member term limits and border security.
Republican sources claim that even if the offers are accepted, he won’t have the 218 votes needed to become speaker.
Giving concessions could win over more supporters, but other opponents raised issues that haven’t been fully addressed.
McCarthy and concessions
The Republican has already made a lot of concessions to his opponents, but so far, these have not been enough.
According to sources, the conversations between McCarthy’s supporters and holdouts on Wednesday were the most serious and fruitful ones to date.
A breakthrough was achieved when a super PAC with ties to McCarthy elected not to run in safe-seat open Republican primaries.
It became one of the top demands from the conservatives, but McCarthy fought until that point.
On Thursday morning, a Republican said they were open to discussion despite their displeasure with the concessions.
Some worry that lowering the threshold for a speaker’s removal to one member will make legislating on topics like funding and the debt ceiling practically impossible.
“I don’t like the rules, but [I] am willing to hear discussions,” said the Republican. “I think they’re a mistake for the conference.”
“These handful of folks want a weak speaker with a four-vote majority.”
“The public will not like what they see of the GOP, I fear.”
House adjourns for third day without picking a speaker in longest in 164 years