Politics /

Kevin McCarthy Wins Speaker of the House Nomination

McCarthy's nomination was backed by 188 Republicans in a secret ballot vote

Republicans have selected California Congressman Kevin McCarthy to be the next Speaker of the House.

McCarthy defeated his challenger, Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs, following a 188-31 closed-door vote among House Republicans. Winning the secret ballot vote is the first step for McCarthy toward the leadership position. To officially become the Speaker, McCarthy needs the support of 218 Republicans during a Jan. 3 vote when the next Congress convenes.

He would replace California Congressman Nancy Pelosi, who is serving her fourth term as speaker. 

McCarthy sent a letter to Republicans on Nov. 9 – the day after the election – announcing his intention to seek the position.

“This was the most expensive and arguably the most competitive House midterm in America’s history. Yet in a hard-fought contest, our message and our candidates prevailed, winning key seats across the country, some in districts that President Biden carried just two years ago by double digits,” he wrote. “We have ended one-party Democrat rule in Washington by effectively prosecuting the case against their failed policies while detailing our plan for a new direction with the Commitment to America.”

As Speaker, McCarthy said he would focus on “restoring the Congress to its proper role as the primary lawmaking authority in the United States as prescribed by Article I of the Constitution,” including ending proxy voting. 

“We will not be afraid to push the envelope when it comes to delivering an economy that’s strong, a nation that’s safe, a future that’s built on freedom, and a government that’s accountable,” McCarthy wrote. “I sincerely hope President Biden is willing to embrace those same objectives.”

“Plan on spending a significant amount of time outside the Beltway and on the ground the next two years as we draw a clear contrast between our vision and the Democrats’ while laying the foundation for a Republican to win back the White House in 2024,” he added.

During an interview with Newsmax ahead of the vote, Bigg said, “We have a new paradigm here, and I think the country wants a different direction from the House of Representatives.”

He acknowledged that McCarthy was an accomplished and influential party member and that his bid to defeat him for the Speakership would be difficult.

Other Republicans spoke favorably of the Arizona representative, but felt rallying around McCarthy was the best move for their party.

“I’ve got respect for Mr. Biggs. But at the end of the day, Kevin McCarthy is our best strategist. He’s our best fundraiser. He’s our best recruiter. He did more to retake the majority than anybody in the entire conference,” said Pennsylvania Congressman Guy Reschenthaler, per The Hill.

The House Freedom Caucus was divided between Briggs and McCarthy. 

“If we don’t unite behind Kevin McCarthy, we’re opening up the door for the Democrats to be able to recruit some of our Republicans, and they may only need one or two since we don’t know what we will have in the majority,” said member Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Congresswoman, per Fox News. “I can’t support a challenge that will allow the Democrats to elect their own speaker by pulling some of ours.”

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