Top Republicans to Give McCarthy Time to Strike Deal With Freedom Caucus

Top Republicans to Give McCarthy Time to Strike Deal With Freedom Caucus (Newsmax)

By Michael Katz | Tuesday, 15 November 2022 09:12 PM EST

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., faces a rocky road on his way to securing the speakership role in the next Congress, but top Republicans said they will give him time to strike a deal with the conservative Freedom Caucus before an official vote in January.

McCarthy was elected speaker-designate during the Republican leadership conference Tuesday, despite a challenge by Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs. McCarthy won by a 188-31 margin but didn’t get close to mustering the 218 votes needed to become speaker when the 118th Congress convenes on Jan. 3.

"One hundred eighty-eight is a long way from 218," said Virginia Rep. Bob Good, a Freedom Caucus member, according to Fox News. "I think this just opens up the opportunity for anyone interested to let us know what their vision is to fight for the things that matter most for the American people."

Biggs probably doesn’t have enough support to make a serious run for the speakership. Plus, McCarthy is backed by some heavyweight Republicans, including incoming House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and former President Donald Trump.

"We're ready to go to work for all those hard-working families across the country, and the person that's going to lead the way is our next speaker, Kevin McCarthy," said Scalise, according to Fox News.

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck told Newsmax that McCarthy should "negotiate in good faith" with the Republican conference on his speakership nomination “to make sure that the power of the conference returns to the members and doesn't stay in the speaker's office."

Buck, who said he voted for Biggs at Tuesday’s leadership conference, said he is at odds with McCarthy’s influence over the Steering Committee, which decides who gets what committee position every congressional term.

"The Steering Committee is very lopsided towards Kevin McCarthy and the leadership," he said. "There are many members from different caucuses in Congress that want to see that power dispersed."

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