News & Politics

Does Kevin McCarthy Have What It Takes to Be Speaker?

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Kevin McCarthy is in line to become speaker of the House 13 months from now. That’s good news.

The current House minority leader has built trust among many conservatives who sunk his chances at the speakership in 2015, before Rep. Paul Ryan volunteered for the difficult role; yet some Republican congressmen are testing their leverage ahead of a potential speaker vote in January 2023.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, an outspoken freshman radical, suggested over Thanksgiving that the eight-term Californian lacks the votes to obtain the gavel. Then again, Greene suggests a lot of inane things.

McCarthy swiftly quelled Greene’s would-be hysterics. She tweeted her support on Friday:

 

Other members have also begun quietly asking about leadership positions.

If McCarthy becomes speaker, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise will assuredly remain second-in-command by becoming House majority leader.

But it’s still unclear who would replace Scalise as House whip, or who might serve as chairman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

Tom Emmer is the current NRCC chair, and due to his success, the Minnesotan should be rewarded with a significant position if Republicans take over Congress after the midterms.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, current chairwoman of the House conference, who’s been pushing her way up the chain in recent years, may seek the majority whip spot.

“Right now, the speakership is McCarthy’s to lose,” Axios correspondents Alayna Treene and Andrew Solender wrote this week. “The big question mark is whether McCarthy will be able to secure 218 votes on the floor, a quest he’s failed in the past. This is where McCarthy’s balancing act comes in. The danger for him will be if a block of members — whether they’re conservative firebrands in the House Freedom Caucus, or House moderates who feel alienated by his criticism thus far — choose to withhold their votes on the floor.”

Lastly, I’d be remiss to not point out that erstwhile CNN chief White House reporter Jim Acosta recently called some Republican representatives part of the “freak show caucus” and demanded McCarthy stand up to them or something.

McCarthy is far from perfect, but he and leadership have condemned the likes of Greene, Rep. Paul Gosar, and former Rep. Steve King.

Meanwhile, Acosta says zero about Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who cowardly allows the anti-Semitic “Hamas Squad” — plus many other hard left critics of America and our top allies — to control major aspects of her party’s message the past three years.

Have some consistency, Jim. You’re supposedly an anchor now, albeit at a failing, partisan outlet.