Fractures within the GOP persist as Kevin McCarthy aims for the House speakership in 2022

Kevin McCarthy, California House Minority Chairman. AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite
Kevin McCarthy has long tried to become the next Speaker of the Republican House.
He was a trusted ally of Trump and helped plan the overthrow of Liz Cheney from the GOP leadership.
Despite his best efforts, McCarthy is skeptical of some caucus members and GOP watchers.
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Last week, California GOP minority leader Kevin McCarthy made a bold proclamation on his political future on the White House grounds after meeting President Joe Biden in the Oval Office.
"I look forward to being the speaker for the next Congress," he said.
Democrats currently control the House of Representatives by a narrow margin of 219-211, and Republicans feel that the majority they lost after the 2018 midterm elections is easily accessible.
McCarthy withdrew from the race to succeed John Boehner, then Speaker of Parliament from Ohio, in 2015 and paved the way for the then representative to be raised. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin. Now he could wipe out unified democratic control over the federal government by holding the speaker's gavel.
McCarthy's potential rise would be the culmination of years of grappling with former President Donald Trump, to whom he has remained deeply loyal, most recently with the recall of the chairman of the House Republican Conference, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, from her leadership role.
After Cheney was resolutely struck from the GOP playbook to further question the ex-president's unmasked electoral claims, McCarthy helped plot her overthrow in favor of New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Trump loyalist.
McCarthy hopes to work with Louisiana's Stefanik and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise to steer the party's focus on opposing Biden's legislative agenda, particularly the proposed $ 2 trillion infrastructure bill.
Despite expressions of party unity, McCarthy's path to spokesmanship remains difficult, from the unpredictability of Trump and internal GOP disagreements following Cheney's fall to McCarthy's balancing act with the most conservative elements of his caucus and Democratic efforts to retain their majority in 2022.
Trump's Save America PAC released a photo showing the former president's meeting with House minority leader Kevin McCarthy on January 28, 2021. Save America PAC
McCarthy gets a mixed reception from Trumpworld
Trump continues to have an immense influence on the Conservatives, and House Republicans gave Stefanik an easy win last week when she became chair of the party conference, despite a more moderate voting record than Cheney.
The loyalty to Trump that Stefanik has shown to believe the former president's complaints about the 2020 presidential election is a true tenet to be accepted in his orbit.
Just weeks after the January 6 riot at the Capitol and Trump's impeachment by the House of Representatives, McCarthy stopped by and even snapped a smiling photo with him at the former president's residence at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
However, according to a report by Insider's Tom LoBianco and Warren Rojas, some Trumpworld loyalists view McCarthy with a lot of skepticism.
A Trump adviser recently told the former president that McCarthy would likely not include the required number of votes for spokespersonship if the GOP regained majority in 2022.
"He has too many unhappy and insecure people and time is not on his side," the advisor told Insider.
However, a seasoned GOP strategist with close ties to Trump who spoke to Insider noted that McCarthy was an outstanding fundraiser that supported the former president in a very public way by ousting Cheney from her leadership role.
"He did not come into conflict with Trump," said the strategist.
Trump could back McCarthy if the GOP took the house back, which would likely seal the race for the Bakersfield Republican, but if he somehow falls out of favor with the president, all bets will be void.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) speaks to reporters after she was dismissed as chair of the House Republican Conference on May 12, 2021, with colleague Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) in the background.
Grumbling within the GOP can cause long-term damage
Illinois GOP MP Adam Kinzinger was a harsh critic of Trump's January 6th behavior and, along with Cheney, one of ten House Republicans who voted to indict the former president for his role in provoking the Capitol attack.
Kinzinger, who was first elected to the House in 2010, was dismayed by Cheney's removal from the leadership.
"Liz could lose and MAGA-lago could celebrate," he tweeted on May 12th. "But I assume that the history books of the future will not celebrate. They will say that this was the lowest point for the Republican Party."
The Congressman has increasingly turned his anger on McCarthy.
He added, "Liz stayed firm. She didn't look for ways to attack on Jan 6, but as the conference host she pushes and is of course asked. She answers truthfully. Kevin? He felt threatened instead of fighting for his job he attacked Liz. "
Kinzinger then said that McCarthy is so keen to be a spokesman that he will do whatever it takes to appease the far-right Freedom Caucus, filled with bombastic Trump loyalists like representatives Jim Jordan from Ohio and Louie Gohmert from Texas.
"Kevin ... made a decision that if he appeased the Trump crowd, he could raise money and take out the loan when he was ready to speak," Kinzinger wrote. "He also (wrongly) assumes that people like me will vote for him to speak, but the legislative terrorists in the Freedom Club wouldn't, so he has to be all-in with them."
Colorado Conservative MP Ken Buck, a surprise vote to keep Cheney in the lead, complained about the way GOP leaders treated her.
"Liz Cheney was canceled today because she had voiced her opinion and disagreed with what President Trump was telling me," Buck told reporters.
Buck said many GOP voters have informed him that the party will suffer if it continues to promote Trump's false electoral claims.
"To indicate that in 2022 the American people will not take into account the fact that we were unwilling to resist a tale that the election was stolen, I think that will be taken into account in the vote," he said.
From left, the House's GOP caucus is now headed by Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader, California, Steve Scalise, Louisiana, and Elise Stefanik, New York, the newly appointed Chair of the Republican Conference.
Stefanik was not a universal choice among conservatives
Some members angry about Cheney's broadsides against Trump didn't quite support Stefanik being pushed as the top candidate.
Georgia freshman firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene unsuccessfully called for last week's vote to be postponed so that more candidates could potentially replace Cheney.
"Only one member is currently running for the chair," she tweeted last week. "I want a break before we vote on a replacement. The options are good, as are the conservative votes."
Before Stefanik was named to the lead, Texas MP Chip Roy also criticized her voting results before announcing his own offer to challenge her as conference chair.
"We must avoid appointing Republicans who fight as Republicans but then vote for the Democratic agenda and push it forward once they are sworn in," he wrote in a blistering letter. "We should either choose someone who reflects our conservative values ​​or leave the position vacant and not focus on a position that most people don't care about, but on a strong agenda based on defending Americans against the radical left . "
Despite Roy's conservative record, he lost on May 14 in a secret ballot between 134 and 46 against Stefanik.
The 46 votes for Roy are notable, however, as Stefanik is backed by both Trump and McCarthy.
Although McCarthy has the speaker's gavel in sight, his own party could prevent him from getting it if his leadership style issues persist in relation to the Stefanik vote.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds the gavel on the opening day of the 117th Congress on January 3, 2021. Erin Scott / Pool via AP
Democrats still control the house
Even political opponents have admitted that Nancy Pelosi was a highly effective spokeswoman for the House of Representatives and worked through key laws such as former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act and Biden's $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package .
Democrats control the White House and both Houses of Congress, a great achievement for the party, but one that has been cautious.
After losing multiple swing districts in the 2020 election, although Biden is strong at the top of the list, the Democrats are hoping to defy conventional wisdom and maintain control of the house for the next year.
In contrast to 2010, the party is much more ideologically coherent and largely focused on urban and suburban areas, with a smaller contingent of moderate to conservative Blue Dog Democrats than in previous years.
While GOP-led gerrymandering will cause problems for some Democratic incumbents, the nationwide republican collapse in populous suburban areas gives Democrats the opportunity to retain their majority if they can minimize losses in many states that Congressional districts will lose.
However, it will still be difficult for Democrats to shore up incumbents at risk in GOP-oriented terrain.
McCarthy knows this, which is why, despite Biden's continued popularity with most voters, he's confident about his chances.
The Democrats will do their best to shift the political winds in their favor so that McCarthy's ultimate desire does not become easy.
Read the original article on Business Insider
In this article:
Liz Cheney
Donald Trump
Elise Stefanik

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