Kevin McCarthy is warning Republicans that Democrats could choose the next House speaker

Kevin McCarthy is warning Republicans that Democrats could choose the next House speaker
Image via screengrab.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is showing some anxieties around the Speaker's race as the final session of Congress comes to a close, Washington Post reporters Aaron Blake and JM Rieger observed.

In an interview with Newsmax, McCarthy warned, "If we play games on the floor, the Democrats could end up picking who the speaker is."

Ironically, the comment comes as a former GOP colleague wondered if McCarthy would offer Democrats a deal behind the scenes. It's a worst-case scenario, where moderate Republicans band together with Democrats to decide on someone less extreme or less easily manipulated.

"It’s a rather fanciful hypothetical meant to persuade the caucus to unite behind McCarthy," said the reporters. "But that fact that McCarthy felt the need to lodge this warning shot would seem to say plenty about how imperiled he views his ascent as being."

The narrow margins are causing added problems for a party that assumed they would be swept in on a red wave only for it to be a little more like a puddle. While they campaigned on issues like crime, inflation and the economy, the major promises being announced by those thought to be committee chairs under the GOP indicate they'll focus instead on investigations, impeachment and hearings.

If McCarthy makes an alliance with Democrats not to impeach Biden, he might win over some moderate Democrats, but it's unclear how many Republicans he would lose in exchange.

The piece went through the solid no votes: Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) and Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC). There's a chance that Rep. Matthew Rosendale (R-MT) could also be a no. Meanwhile, some of the Republicans have been cagey about their support like Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA), Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) and Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL).

"If five of these names are truly committed to actually voting against McCarthy (and all Democrats cast ballots), they could kill McCarthy’s shot at becoming speaker — again," said the Post. McCarthy previously tried to become the Speaker along with Freedom Caucus support. It failed.

Read the full breakdown on the Speaker's horse race at the Washington Post.

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