WASHINGTON — It may have been uncomfortable grinning through 15 excruciating voting rounds to become Speaker of the House in January, but Kevin McCarthy is determined to focus on the silver lining .
“Okay, this is the great part,” McCarthy told reporters. barely get a colleague to pick him — he would be able to govern a slim, unruly House Republican majority. “It took so long, now we have learned how to govern, so now we will be able to get the job done.”
In the months that followed, Mr. McCarthy enjoyed a honeymoon of sorts. The question of whether he actually learned anything about overcoming divisions and reigning in his difficult meeting remained largely untested.
McCarthy is expected to speak as early as Wednesday his proposal to raise the debt ceiling One year in exchange for spending cuts and policy changes. With all Democrats present and a small majority voting against, he could afford to lose only four of his votes.
New York Democrat and Majority Senator Chuck Schumer said the bill should be called the “Defaults on America Act.” A “MAGA Economic Agenda” which includes “Reducing Spending for Working and Middle Class People”.
They and other Democrats denounced the bill as recklessly draconian and financially misguided, and Republicans, by pushing it, put unreasonable conditions on the ballot to raise the debt ceiling. The statutory borrowing limit is Expected to be completed by this summerwill drive the country into default unless Congress acts to raise it.
Still, Mr McCarthy is bent on trying to appease the tough right-wing opponents of spending without alienating mainstream Republicans whose seats might be at stake if they accept drastic cuts.
Republicans have taken the position that they will not raise the debt ceiling without fiscal consolidation and have called on Mr. Biden to negotiate terms, so now the chairman must show he can organize the votes to move the deal forward.
This includes asking right-wing members who have never voted to raise the debt ceiling before and who are proud of that fact to vote “yes”. Failure to do so would represent a serious setback for Republicans and Mr. McCarthy’s leadership.
“This is the biggest moment because it’s the first really hard thing he’s had to do,” said two former Republican party chairmen, Paul D. Ryan and John A. Boehner’s top advisers. Brendan Buck, who served, said. “The most important thing in this vote is to show how strong he is against his own members when he enters negotiations.”
Since winning the gavel, Mr. McCarthy has enjoyed a relatively steady stretch in his long-coveted job.
House Republicans have spent much of their time passing partisan message bills on social issues that have no chance of becoming law, but they have helped rally the party’s foundations and helped Mr. McCarthy maintain friendly relations with lawmakers. I’ve helped build
He postponed more controversial issues, such as the immigration crackdown, which met resistance among some mainstream Republicans in his ranks, and the budget presentation.
“On purpose, it was a period of putting points on the board and making people feel good about it,” Buck said before entering the harder ballot.
McCarthy also hailed the creation of the bipartisan China Selection Commission as an early success and cited it as a major victory. Republican-led proposal to block new criminal law For the District of Columbia, which signed the law into law after Mr. Biden initially opposed it.
“I think every member of the conference holds Kevin very highly,” said Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas. “He certainly has earned their respect.”
McCarthy enjoys the quiet satisfaction of being underappreciated, people close to him said.
Concerns that belongings would have to be carelessly removed from the chairman’s office before his name was installed above the door proved unfounded. He had to sit behind the president during his State of the Union address. No one threatened him with an instant vote to remove him from the presidency.
Even Florida Rep. Matt Gates, McCarthy’s sworn nemesis during the campaign, said in February that he would give McCarthy “an A for his work so far.” It was modest.
But the easy days are over.
Gates said on Monday that he had voted “no” for the debt ceiling. Some Republicans in Politically Competitive Districts Oppose And what Mr. McCarthy said is impossible.
Buck said if McCarthy could pass the debt ceiling bill, which is just the starting point for negotiations with Biden, it would be “very impressive and underscore what he has.” A fairly solid trust base between members — more than I expected at this point.
Some of McCarthy’s supporters argue that the brutal week in which he was publicly humiliated to become chairman prepared him for this moment.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said, “I think deep down he thinks 15 votes are good.” It allowed his members to remove many poisons.
Gingrich, the only former Republican Speaker of the House in the modern era that McCarthy is trying to emulate, advised his successor to push for the debt ceiling bill, even if he was a few votes short when he walked into the floor. said. It would be better to pressure the upset colleague to put aside reservations and stand by them.
Mr. Gingrich told Mr. McCarthy about his experience with tough legislation, he said. “But there is pressure not to let the team down.”
Leave a Reply