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As Kevin McCarthy struggles to unify his party and become the next speaker of the House of Representatives, Donald Trump stepped in to clear the way for him. The former president held telephone and face-to-face dialogues with some of the congressmen resisting the Californian, whom the former president referred to as “my Kevin.”
With 36 legislators voting against him for his nomination for speaker, and at least five publicly expressing their vote, McCarthy is on an uphill path to wielding the gavel in the House. When it comes to splitting the cards, the midterm elections handed him a razor-thin majority (222-213), so he can’t afford too many defectors come January 3.
Currently, Congressmen Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Ralph Norman (R-SC), and Bob Good (R-VA) have publicly expressed their refusal to vote for McCarthy. “We’ve been making a lot of progress. I think people are in a much better place, and I think we’ll all find a place to get together,” said the current minority leader, who needs 218 votes in favor to succeed Nancy Pelosi.
Otherwise, members of Congress will vote in succession until someone, McCarthy or someone else, gets enough supporters to prevail. This is precisely where former President Trump, who has been trying to convince them to get on board the “my Kevin” boat, comes in.
Through telephone and some face-to-face talks, the president wants no trouble in the nomination for speaker, so he is looking to clear the way for McCarthy.
“It has the potential to damage the entire party”
Speaking to The Daily Wire, a former top Trump White House official close to the Freedom Caucus expressed concern about the GOP internals. “I hope the Freedom Caucus guys get concessions from McCarthy, but if they get what they want and still oppose him, then it will be clear that this never had anything to do with principle,” he said.
“If they take this circus to the House floor, it has the potential to damage the entire party at a time when we should united and laser focused on investigating the s*** out of the Biden Administration,” the source added.
In addition, in conversations with the same media outlet, a person close to Mark Meadows criticized the current role of the Freedom Caucus. “Anyone who thinks House moderates would ever kowtow to Biggs and Gaetz and support a Speaker to the right of McCarthy is living in a fantasy land, (…) The Freedom Caucus lost its way the day that Mark Meadows left Congress,” he said.
While he made it very clear that McCarthy is not perfect, he acknowledged that “any alternative to McCarthy will end up being far worse for conservatives” and that “he has proven himself to be a much stronger conservative than previous GOP leaders like Paul Ryan or John Boehner.”
Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.