The House of Representatives will vote for a Speaker today, revealing whether House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, California, has the support of his conference to lead the new House. However, it is far from certain how this vote will play out. If no candidate wins the majority of votes on the first ballot, it will be the first time in a century that the House has gone into multiple votes for Speaker. And with 222 Republicans and 212 Democrats, McCarthy can only afford to lose just four votes assuming every member votes for a candidate.
The 118th Congress begins at noon, and after a prayer, the pledge of allegiance, and roll call the members will go right into Speaker votes.
As it stands now, McCarthy has at least five House Republicans strongly against him. Representative Andy Biggs, R-Arizona, has estimated that around 20 Republicans will not vote for McCarthy. Which could mean the House has a long day ahead of them.
Reasons many are in opposition of McCarthy include the disappointment with the Republican midterm turnout, frustration with a McCarthy PAC that got involved in GOP primaries, McCarthy’s previous work with Democrats on spending measures, a federal spending budget cut desire, and a more aggressive stance on investigating the Biden administration and the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
McCarthy’s supporters have stated they plan to vote for him as long as it takes, in reference to today’s vote. Many are saying they won’t be rewarding chaos either. As today is predicted to come with some chaos if the speaker isn’t chosen after the first vote.
While some have come out against McCarthy, one of his main opponents, Rep. Andy Biggs, does not seem to be a viable GOP alternative even to those opposing McCarthy. Though a potential second candidate could be Rep Steve Scalise, Louisiana, though Scalise has already stated he will not run against McCarthy – rather McCarthy would need to drop out of the race before he would run. The whole situation leaves a lot to be left unknown heading into Congress’s first day back.