McCarthy to Remain in Speaker Race Despite Opposition

By Bernard Lawson, The Chicago Times

January 04, 2023

WASHINGTON – Republican Kevin McCarthy is determined to remain in the race for the Speakership of the U.S. House of Representatives despite rising opposition from his own party.

In a historic day Tuesday, McCarthy lost three straight votes in the House to form a majority to give him the gavel.  20 Republicans opposing McCarthy’s Speakership bid broke from the other 202 Republican members failing to bring the 218 votes needed to elect a new Speaker of the House.  The last time the House failed to elect a new Speaker in the first vote was in 1923.

U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy

The 57-year-old McCarthy, of California, has said he will remain in the race, yet the House will now reconvene at 12:00 pm on Wednesday to give the Republican caucus time to explore other candidates, including Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Steve Scalise of Louisiana.  McCarthy later told reporters that he has the support of former President Donald Trump, who had called to wish McCarthy luck.

Despite a possible agreement between McCarthy and opposing Republicans prior to the first vote, McCarthy’s defeat in three consecutive ballots is the result of Republicans not believing he is strong enough to proceed with investigations into the Biden administration or challenge Democrat policies.