Art of the Speaker deal update: McCarthy concessions; Trump sees ‘big Republican victory’

by WorldTribune Staff, January 5, 2023

[This article updates the reports of Jan. 4 and 5, 2023.] California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy fell short in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds of voting for Speaker of the House in the new Congress. Also, eight wasn’t enough. Neither was nine, ten, or eleven.

Reports are saying, however, that McCarthy and House conservatives are working towards a deal that would elect him as speaker.

McCarthy reportedly offered conservatives more concessions, which include:

• One member motion to vacate, instead of five. This move would allow any member to introduce a motion to vacate the chair — which would force a vote on removing the speaker.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy

• More House Freedom Caucus members on the House Rules Committee.
• Promises to hold votes on term limit and border security bills.

As the voting continued on Thursday, five Republicans voted either for Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida or Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, ensuring that McCarthy wouldn’t be able to reach the 218 votes needed to win the speaker’s gavel.

The two votes for Hern came from Reps. Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma and Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

In a Truth Social post on Wednesday, former President Donald Trump endorsed McCarthy, saying he would “do a good job, and maybe even a great job.”

Trump stated in a Truth Social post on Thursday: “Very good things are happening behind the scenes for the Republican Party. Intense but Smart negotiations between GREAT and PATRIOTIC people are ongoing. They all love our Country, and want something to go forward, ASAP. This ‘event’ will end up making the Republican Party STRONGER and more UNITED than ever before. OUR NATION IS AT STAKE. Stay tuned and, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Trump added: “I actually think that a big Republican VICTORY today, after going through numerous Roll Calls that failed to produce a Speaker of the House, has made the position & process of getting to be Speaker BIGGER & MORE IMPORTANT than if it were done in the more traditional way, much like me again becoming President after having won big in 2016, gotten many Millions of MORE VOTES in 2020 but ‘supposedly’ not winning (BIG LIE!), & then winning again in 2024. It will be BIGGER than the traditional way!”

One of the leaders of the “Never Kevin” faction, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, cast his vote for speaker on Thursday for Trump.

Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon is reportedly pushing for a Trump speakership for the first 100 days of the new Congress.

Both the “Never Kevin” and “Only Kevin” factions of the GOP are vowing to go as many ballots as it takes.

In his Tuesday broadcast (see below), Fox News host Tucker Carlson laid out provisions which should be priorities for the next Speaker:

• Release all files related to Jan. 6 and form a new Jan. 6 committee run by the GOP.
• Put Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie in charge of a new Church committee.

[The Church Committee was a Senate select committee in 1975 that investigated abuses by the FBI, CIA, NSA, and IRS.]

“The fact that this race has not been settled by now is being described by many, especially online, as embarrassing,” Carlson said. “And it is embarrassing if you prefer the Soviet-style consensus of the Democratic Party’s internal elections. … That’s what they do. But if you prefer democracy to oligarchy, if you prefer real debate about issues that actually matter, it’s pretty refreshing to see it.”

“Yes, it’s a little chaotic,” Carlson continued. “But this is what it is supposed to be.”

“McCarthy is not especially conservative,” Carlson added. “He is in fact ideologically agnostic. He’s flexible. His real constituency is the lobbying community in Washington, so if you’ve got sincere political beliefs, that is infuriating to watch.”

If McCarthy does not get the votes, who will step in?

Gaetz had been pushing for Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, but Jordan told Breitbart News that he is not interested in being Speaker.

“The most obvious fallback candidate is his No. 2, incoming Majority Leader Steve Scalise, but a wild card scenario could result in someone who isn’t even a current member of Congress in the speaker’s chair,” Washington Examiner congressional reporter Virginia Aabram noted.

Gaetz and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado have remained among the stalwarts on the “Never Kevin” side.

The House Freedom Caucus nominated Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida for House Speaker during Wednesday’s votes.

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas nominated Donalds on the House floor Wednesday, saying the Florida conservative will “stand up” to the swamp in Washington.

“Byron Donalds is a good man, raised by a single mom, moved past diversity, became a Christian man at the age of 21, and has devoted his life to advancing the cause for his family and this country. And he has done it admirably,” Roy said. “But there’s an important reason for nominating Byron, and that is this country needs a change. This country needs leadership that does not reflect this city, this town, that is badly broken.”

After 19 Republicans voted against McCarthy in Tuesday’s opening round, the House of Representatives moved on to a second ballot for the first time since 1923.

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