Pelosi suggests McCarthy doesn’t have the votes to be Speaker
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday suggested House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) does not have enough votes to be elected Speaker if Republicans take the majority in the lower chamber.
Republicans appear favored to win a narrow majority in the House, which would make McCarthy the front-runner for Speaker, but Pelosi suggested to co-anchor Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union” that McCarthy might not secure the needed votes from his caucus.
“Why would I make a judgment about something that may or may not ever happen?” Pelosi asked. “No, I don’t think he has it. But that’s up to his own people to make a decision as to how they want to be led or otherwise.”
House GOP lawmakers will conduct leadership elections behind closed doors, where only a majority vote in the conference is required to win.
Ultimately, lawmakers of both parties will vote for a new Speaker on the House floor, with the winner needing a majority of 218 votes.
With Republicans’ potential majority now looking narrower than many pundits had predicted, the math is tighter for McCarthy, who may only be able to afford to lose a few members of his party in the floor vote.
He has worked to shore up support for Speaker as the party’s leadership elections approach, and members supporting him maintain confidence that McCarthy will emerge victorious.
The Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers who largely support former President Trump, is hoping to negotiate with GOP leaders about a slate of rules change requests for the new term.
“What we want to make sure of is that every member of Congress is treated fairly and equally,” Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said on Thursday. “Increasingly, over decades, it has been that power — that voice — has been concentrated in leadership in both the Senate and the House.”
Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), another member of the caucus, told Fox News that there “absolutely” will be a challenge to McCarthy’s bid for the Speakership.