Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s odds of becoming the next Speaker of the House got even longer as a fifth House Republican has said that he will vote against the Minority Leader.
Another House Freedom Caucus member announced he would not vote for the GOP leader for speaker next term, with Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) telling POLITICO in an interview on Tuesday that he will be another vote against McCarthy.
Hard no: Norman said he agreed he is a “hard” no vote against the California Republican, dismissing that he will either vote present or not attend the speakership vote early next year.
The South Carolina Republican said he primarily took issue with McCarthy’s plans to fix the national debt. During a conference meeting last week during the nomination of the speaker, Norman said he asked McCarthy if he agreed to the Republican Study Committee’s seven-year plan for addressing the budget. And according to Norman, McCarthy replied “no.” For him, that was it, he said.
Rep. Norman also predicted that in the coming days and weeks more House Republicans are going to come out as no votes on McCarthy being the next Speaker.
If McCarthy can’t win 218 votes, it becomes a fascinating situation in the House. McCarthy could try to reach across the aisle and cut a deal with Democrats to get the votes that he needs, but being that his relationship with House Democrats varies between toxic and non-existent, there is virtually no chance that Democrats throw him a lifeline.
Democrats will be just a few seats short of the majority, meaning that moderates on both sides of the aisle could come together and float their own candidate who could secure the 218 votes necessary to pick the next Speaker. If this happened, it would be a disaster for the Republican Party that could wreck the dreams of the far right of running the House.
When Kevin McCarthy failed to deliver the red wave, his odds of being Speaker dropped, and it doesn’t look good for the Minority Leader who could be in for a very difficult Thanksgiving weekend.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association