McCarthy says GOP holdouts on Speakership vote would be ‘squandering this majority’

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
Greg Nash
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks with reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 after returning from a meeting at the White House with President Biden, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to discuss legislative priorities for the rest of the year.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Sunday said the potential handful of GOP lawmakers opposing his bid for Speaker stand the risk of “squandering this majority” when it comes to the Republican takeover of the House in the next Congress.

During an appearance on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” with host Maria Bartiromo, McCarthy said he has spent “hours” meeting with the House Freedom Caucus, as at least five of its members indicate plans to vote against McCarthy in next month’s floor vote.

“Right now, it’s actually delaying our ability to govern as we go,” McCarthy said. “So I’m hopeful that everybody comes together, finds a way to govern together. This is what the American people want. Otherwise, we will be squandering this majority.”

McCarthy handily won last month’s vote within the House Republican Conference to serve as the party’s nominee for Speaker, but the California Republican will need a majority of votes on the floor next month.

With the GOP holding a narrow majority in the upcoming term, the small group of House Republicans voicing opposition to McCarthy — Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Bob Good (Va.), Ralph Norman (S.C.) and Matt Rosendale (Mont.) — could hold significant sway.

“If people don’t come along, that’s going to delay our ability to secure the border,” McCarthy said on Fox News. “That’s going to delay our ability to become energy independent. That’s going to delay our ability to repeal 87,000 IRS agents. That’s going to delay our ability to hold government accountable. There’s no subpoena that can go out until that gets done.”

As he looks to shore up support, House Freedom Caucus members have made a series of rule change demands to McCarthy that aim to empower rank-and-file members.

“I think everybody is respected in the House, regardless of where you are,” McCarthy told Bartiromo. “We have got to remember, we’re going to sit at 222 members, so any five members can hold us up for achieving. I respect all. We came together as one conference. We changed the rules, made it more bottom up in the process.”

Tags Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Maria Bartiromo Speakership vote
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