Narrow House majority could possibly be problem for Kevin McCarthy

At his election night time occasion Tuesday, Kevin McCarthy was heralded as the subsequent speaker of the House.

However Republicans on Wednesday discovered little to have a good time as disappointing outcomes rolled in from battleground districts throughout the nation and the much-touted pink wave didn’t materialize.

McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) continues to be favored to turn out to be the subsequent speaker — a long-coveted however elusive place that will make him essentially the most highly effective politician within the decrease chamber and second in line to the presidency.

Republicans have a a lot simpler path to securing the 218 House seats required to assert a majority. As of Wednesday morning, a number of races remained too near name.

But it surely additionally seems more and more seemingly that any GOP majority shall be far slimmer than McCarthy had hoped. And that would complicate McCarthy’s path to the speakership in addition to his skill to manipulate as soon as there.

“There are some big storm clouds early on in 2023 that he’ll have to navigate, and he’ll have only a small majority,” stated retiring Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), pointing to the anticipated showdowns over authorities funding and elevating the debt ceiling.

A slim Republican majority would give vital leverage to even a handful of rebellious GOP House members, who might withhold their wanted votes.

“Whether it be moderates or Freedom Caucus people who will refuse to buckle, it could be very tough. That’ll be an early test of his speakership,” Upton stated.

At McCarthy’s considerably low-key election night time victory occasion Tuesday night time in Washington, there was already hypothesis over whether or not his grip on the speaker’s gavel can be affected by the lackluster outcomes.

“I think he ultimately becomes speaker,” stated Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). However Tuesday’s outcomes recommend that “he might have to give more concessions.”

Chatting with the group on the lodge ballroom early Wednesday morning, McCarthy stated his efforts over the previous two elections have strengthened the GOP.

“If you believe in freedom, hard work and the American dream, these results proved that there is a place for you in the Republican Party,” he stated. “Now, tonight, we built upon those gains two years ago, and it is clear that we are going to take the House back.”

McCarthy’s highway to the speakership has been a bumpy one.

He joined GOP management as chief deputy whip in 2009 throughout what was solely his second House time period. McCarthy continued to rise shortly, turning into majority whip in 2011 and majority chief in 2014.

A high-profile gaffe, nevertheless, value him an opportunity at turning into speaker a 12 months later when then-Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) resigned from his publish.

As House Republicans have been looking for Boehner’s successor in 2015, McCarthy informed Fox Information’ Sean Hannity that the occasion’s Choose Committee on Benghazi was driving down Democrat Hillary Clinton’s ballot numbers, suggesting the panel’s intention was extra targeted on harming Clinton’s White House prospects than investigating the 2012 assault in Benghazi, Libya.

McCarthy bowed out of the race for speaker, and House Republicans coalesced round then-Methods and Means Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

Ryan retired after the 2018 midterms, leaving McCarthy as the highest Republican when Democrats took management of the House.

McCarthy has since led the opposition — and transformation — of the House Republican Convention, the place firebrands like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) are handled privately, and Trump critic Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was booted from management.

It stays to be seen whether or not McCarthy faces any backlash over Republicans’ considerably disappointing outcomes.

With President Biden’s low approval score, persistent inflation and the truth that the president’s occasion nearly all the time suffers large losses within the midterm, expectations have been excessive for Republicans.

McCarthy and his allied tremendous PAC, the Congressional Management Fund, raised greater than a quarter-billion {dollars}. That staggering sum was thought to have allowed House Republicans to capitalize on an already favorable political setting.

As an alternative, House Republicans are poised for under modest features, although even a one-seat majority would give them committee gavels and subpoena energy to research the Biden administration.

Some House Republicans voiced anger and disappointment Wednesday that the occasion underperformed.

“The RED WAVE did not happen,” tweeted Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas), who received a particular election to her South Texas seat earlier this 12 months however misplaced reelection to incumbent Democrat Vincente Gonzalez. “Republicans and Independents stayed home. DO NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT THE RESULTS IF YOU DID NOT DO YOUR PART!”

House Republicans are anticipated to carry their inner management elections when members return to Washington subsequent week. The one contested management races — proper now, at the least — within the House GOP are for majority whip and chair of House Republicans’ marketing campaign arm, the Nationwide Republican Congressional Committee. The House ground vote for speaker will happen when the subsequent Congress convenes on Jan. 3.

McCarthy and different House Republicans unveiled their coverage agenda, the Dedication to America, in September. It options 4 planks: a robust financial system, a secure nation, a future constructed on freedom and an accountable authorities. House Republicans, if in management, are more likely to pursue a broad vary of investigations into the Biden administration, together with the president’s son, Hunter, subsequent 12 months.

McCarthy has additionally signaled that the House Republican Convention received’t write a “blank check” for Ukraine support, and Republicans might use a standoff over elevating the debt ceiling to attempt to extract concessions from Democrats to make cuts to entitlement packages resembling Social Safety and Medicare.

“The American people are ready for a majority that will offer a new direction, that will put America back on track,” McCarthy stated. “Republicans are ready to deliver it.”

However first, they nonetheless need to win the bulk.