House Conservatives Turn On Kevin McCarthy, He Withdraws From Speaker Race

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New Majority Leader of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy speaks during the Faith and Freedom Coalitions Road to Majority Conference on June 20, 2014 in Washington,DC.  AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

The Republican Party is fracturing further, and we have yet another piece of proof of that. As John Boehner plans to make his exit from both his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as Congress itself, the man who everyone thought would replace him, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, is now withdrawing from the race.

The far right wing of the GOP-led House has been out for the blood of rank and file Republicans for a while now, which is what eventually led to Boehner’s stepping down. Instead of backing Rep. McCarthy, the extremist Tea Partiers have instead been backing one of their own — a Florida lawmaker by the name of Daniel Webster. This move was initiated by the Tea Party- led House Freedom Caucus, which makes up enough of the House of Representatives to cause a split that would cause Kevin McCarthy to lose the Speaker race.

The Freedom Caucus announced their backing of Webster over McCarthy, saying:

“our constituents will simply not accept a continuation of the status quo,” as well as that “under the present circumstances and without significant changes to Conference leadership and process, [Webster] would be best equipped to earn back the trust of the American people.”

Source: Washington Post

Rank and file Republicans are dismayed and shocked at McCarthy’s quitting the race. Rep. Tim Helskamp (R-Kansas) said:

“McCarthy said he was dropping out of the race because he did not think he could unify a splintered caucus. We were stunned.”

There’s also, of course, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the Tea Party darling who infamously and rudely insulted Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards during a hearing, who also wants to be Speaker of the House. Thanks to the surprise of McCarthy’s withdrawal, there will be no House vote for the Speaker position today. In short, the GOP is fractured in this, and if they cannot form a united front and all vote for one candidate for the Speakership, their worst nightmare and our dream could become reality– Nancy Pelosi could become Speaker.

According to the law, you don’t need to be a member of the majority to be Speaker. In fact, you don’t even have to be a member of Congress. With the GOP’s votes split between at least two people, possibly more, and more fracturing sure to come, Pelosi definitely has a shot at being Speaker.

Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the race because he doesn’t  have the votes to win, and because he, like John Boehner, wants to unite the GOP. Something tells me that might be an impossible feat to achieve at this time, though. Hopefully, I’m right, and we wind up with Speaker Pelosi.

 

Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info