There is optimism that a path may be opening for Kevin McCarthy to become the next Speaker of the House after another excruciating day of votes that did not go his way with the embattled Californian reportedly agreeing to give ground to the demands of the holdouts in a potential gamechanger of a deal.
On Thursday, the number of failed ballots to confirm the “Speaker Designate” reached 11 as the establishment criticism of the House Freedom Caucus members who have insisted on changes in exchange for their support continued to become more heated as patience wears thin.
But the drama may be nearing an end with McCarthy seemingly more willing to cut a deal and, according to a Fox News report, “a written framework for rules in the 118th Congress was released on Thursday that McCarthy’s allies hope will allow many of the GOP lawmakers who have been voting against McCarthy all week to eventually support him.”
According to an unnamed lawmaker familiar with the framework, significant concessions have been made to the resisters, giving them “virtually everything they’ve been asking for” including stronger Freedom Caucus representations on key committees, “guardrails” to curb excessive government spending, and perhaps most importantly, allowing a single House member to bring a motion to replace the speaker or to “vacate the chair,” something that McCarthy had been resisting.
Republican House members who have denied McCarthy the votes necessary to assume the gavel said that it would “take time to review the framework” with one holdout, Ralph Norman of South Carolina telling Fox News that “this is round one” and “we still have a ways to go.”
Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania who has been one of the more vocal critics of McCarthy tweeted on Thursday night, “We’re at a Reagan moment — ‘trust but verify.’ The devil is in the details, and we’ll take our time to ensure it’s right, not easy. One way or another, the status quo must go.”
We’re at a Reagan moment — “trust but verify.” The devil is in the details, and we’ll take our time to ensure it’s right, not easy. One way or another, the status quo must go.
— RepScottPerry (@RepScottPerry) January 6, 2023
Any deal is unlikely to be finalized until after the weekend due to the schedules of some GOP House members including Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado who had to leave the nation’s capital for a medical appointment and others potentially having conflicts that could keep them away.
McCarthy is going to need every vote that he can get in order to hit the magic number of 218, allowing him to only lose the support of four Republicans in order to be confirmed by a razor-thin margin.
“I think there’s slow and steady progress being made,” South Dakota congressman Dusty Johnson told Fox News. “I mean, in general you don’t eat a sandwich in one gulp. Take it one bite at a time. And I don’t know exactly what the next few hours will bring but I think there’s a pretty good possibility, we’re going to take a pretty big chunk out of that sandwich.”
“We’ve got to bring them on the inside for our functioning Republican majority, which we will, which we will with a Republican Speaker,” North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry said of the holdouts. “Kevin McCarthy will be that speaker at the end of the day, may not be this day. But it will be soon.”
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