In a recent turn of events, California Representative Kevin McCarthy has called out eight House Republicans who aligned with Democrats in a historic ousting earlier this month. McCarthy accused them of “disrupting the nation” as he pledged his support for Representative Jim Jordan from Ohio to succeed him as the Speaker of the House.
McCarthy voiced his concerns: “The real challenge here is that eight Republicans took an unexpected step. No one anticipated that they would collaborate with Democrats to disrupt the nation and remove me from the speakership.”
The California Republican faced an uphill battle, especially after facing criticism from some hardline Republicans, notably Florida Representative Matt Gaetz. This criticism ultimately led to his historic removal as Speaker after a majority voted in favor of the motion to vacate the position.
McCarthy’s comments come when the House has reached its twelfth day without a Speaker, and turmoil continues in the Middle East with no resolution. House Republicans are now electing a new Speaker, with Jim Jordan as their nominee. However, Jordan also faces significant challenges in securing the votes for the speakership.
McCarthy threw his support behind Jordan, the Ohio Republican and Judiciary Committee chairman, a day after Representative Steve Scalise from Louisiana withdrew his bid for the speakership. McCarthy remains confident that Jim Jordan will eventually garner enough support to assume the role.
When asked about the possibility of a consensus candidate if Jim Jordan falls short, McCarthy was skeptical, stating, “I don’t believe either of them could win. It would fall significantly short. I have faith that Jim Jordan can secure the necessary votes.”
As for whether McCarthy would consider reentering the race for Speaker, he made it clear that his priority is the country’s well-being.
Last week, GOP Representative John Duarte of California called for McCarthy’s return to the speakership to move forward with providing needed aid to Israel as the country faces attacks from Hamas terrorists who launched surprise assaults on residential areas.
Duarte emphasized the need for Republicans and Democrats to work together to vote Kevin McCarthy back in as Speaker, given that the lower chamber cannot provide additional weapons and defense support to their Middle Eastern ally.
He stated, “We have one of our strongest allies in the world under attack, and we are embroiled in a leadership struggle in the House that should have been avoided. McCarthy has guided the House through some of the most bipartisan and constructive legislation in years, establishing himself as an excellent Speaker.”