'We’re not going to be a cheap date': House Democrats to capitalize on Kevin McCarthy's fractured GOP caucus
According to a report from Vox, House Democrats, observing the Republican Party rancor that preceded the 15-ballot election of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to become the new House speaker, see an opportunity to maintain a certain amount of control of the chamber.
That led one senior Democrat to put the California Republican on notice that he will at times need their votes -- and will pay a price for them.
With McCarthy leading a House with the slimmest of margins, and a caucus that is far from united behind him and itching to depose him, the GOP leader will be walking a tightrope for the next two years if he lasts that long.
After handing his GOP critics a concession that would allow them to demand he vacate the chair, McCarthy will be feeling pressure from both sides.
As Vox's Li Zhou wrote, "McCarthy’s agreement to weaken the role of the speaker is likely to lead to extreme gridlock within the ranks of the GOP. But it could also present an opening for Democrats. If far-right lawmakers in the GOP follow through on their promises to hold up pivotal spending and debt ceiling legislation, Republicans may well have to rely on Democrats’ help to get any bills across the finish line — a dynamic Democrats could capitalize on."
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), the senior Democrat on the House Rules Committee put it bluntly by saying, "The deal is, if they want to get stuff done, they’re going to have to work with us. And we’re not going to be a cheap date.”
The report goes on to add that Democrats could also find some surprising allies to derail some McCarthy initiatives.
"Given the number of Freedom Caucus members added to the House Rules Committee, Democrats could theoretically join with the conservatives on the panel to block or slow bills favored by House GOP Leadership," the report states before adding, "The situation gives Democrats more leverage to put forth their own demands, if Republican leadership is actually interested in getting anything done. Of course, there’s a high chance that they aren’t, a reality Democrats are preparing to confront as well."
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) who sits on the Rules Committee held out hope that could happen.
“I think there is an opportunity. But it’s just such an unusual time — and it’s so hard for so many of them to reach across the aisle,” DeSaulnier explained.
You can read more here.
- House Democrat: Kevin McCarthy 'practically auctioning off real estate in the Capitol' to be speaker ›
- Pandering to 'the lowest common denominator': Democrats blast Kevin McCarthy over committee axings ›
- McCarthy explains why GOP chaos could result in Democratic lawmakers 'picking who the Speaker is' ›