Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., claimed on “Sunday Night in America” that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has more support among Republican lawmakers now than he did during the Republicans’ designation for House speaker in November.
During the House GOP caucus nomination for speaker last month, Leader McCarthy beat back a challenge by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., in a final tally of 188-31.
Among those supporting McCarthy’s bid for speaker were Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ga., and Rep. Brian FitzPatrick, Penn.
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“Eighty-five percent of the Republicans voted for Kevin McCarthy to be the next speaker, 15% voted for Andy Biggs, and by doing what they’re doing, the five or six people holding out, it just takes five to derail this because we need 218 votes, you know, roughly to get Kevin McCarthy in the speakership. They don’t even have a viable alternative that they’re putting out on the floor. So it’s just to say no without an alternative after 85% of the Republicans have selected Kevin. And right now, I guarantee you, Trey, it’s about 95% are with them,” Bacon said.
Since the November vote, Biggs; Reps. Ralph Norman, R-S.C.; Bob Good, R-Va.; Matt Rosendale, R-Mont.; and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. have pledged to vote against McCarthy on the house floor come January 3rd if specific demands are not met.
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Last month Norman told Fox News Digital, “If it’s just [changes to House] rules, no… It’s going to have to be more substantive than just rules. Rules can be waived… He’s going to have to give an ironclad… agreement that we will have a budget that will balance. If not in seven years, give me a timeframe.”
Norman continued that McCarthy should inform committee chairs, “This is what we’ve got to have, cuts we’ve got to have. And if you don’t do that, all of a sudden your chairmanship may be in jeopardy.”
McCarthy’s opposition could be problematic because the GOP is expected to hold a narrow 222-213 majority next year, and at least 218 votes are needed to be elected speaker.
Bacon called on Republican lawmakers “holding out” to come together as a “team” or risk helping President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and incoming House Democratic Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.
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“I’ve been a commander five times in the Air Force, I deployed four times, teams win, and when a small number of people go against the team and breaks down the team, that’s how you get beat. And by doing what they’re doing, they’re helping out Chuck Schumer. They’re helping out Joe Biden, and they’re helping out Hakeem Jeffries with these actions.”
Earlier this week, Biggs announced he would challenge GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy for speaker again, this time on the House floor in January.
Bacon argued Biggs would have “less support” for speaker in January.
“They put Andy Biggs back on the table again for the vote on the floor. But we already know that he had 15% of vote, and it’s going to be less now. Those numbers are, some numbers have coalesced around Kevin McCarthy. So, now they have put some demands out there that they want to negotiate. It’s unfortunate to have to do demands within your own party with each other. We’ve already voted on a lot of the issues that they’re wanting to change within the conference, they should support the majority and in this case, the far majority of what they’ve already said they wanted to do,” Bacon said.
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