Kevin McCarthy offers his critics a key concession in effort to clinch House speakership

Kevin McCarthy offers his critics a key concession in effort to clinch House speakership


House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy offered a key concession to critics of his House leadership bid during private conversations this week: lowering the threshold required to force a floor vote to impeach the speaker in task, according to six Republican sources familiar with the internal discussions.

McCarthy has been trying to find a threshold of compromise that would appease his critics enough to win their speaker’s vote while still being palatable to the rest of the House GOP, and has spoken in all sides of the conference in private calls this week.

One of the numbers that has come up in recent conversations between McCarthy and GOP lawmakers — and that hasn’t been reported before — is a five-person threshold, according to two Republican sources.

Currently, the House GOP majority must call for a so-called motion to vacate the speaker’s seat. But some hard-line conservatives are pushing for a single member to be able to call such a vote, which they see as an important mechanism to hold the speaker accountable.

However, a five-person threshold may be too low for the party’s moderate wing, some of whom have privately suggested they would be willing to agree to a 50-person threshold.

And some of McCarthy’s fiercest critics, including Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Ralph Norman of South Carolina, told CNN they see the five-person threshold as still too high, underscoring the significant challenge he faces. McCarthy as he works to block the speaker’s chamber.

“No, less than 5!!” Norman said in a text message about the proposed motion to loosen the threshold. “2 or less (my opinion).”

And Gaetz said, “He’s got to go down to 1.”

All of this will be a major topic of discussion during a crucial Friday afternoon conference that McCarthy scheduled with the various ideological groups in the House GOP, just four days before the Jan. 3 speaker vote.

A compromise on the impeachment motion — which McCarthy previously said he would not move — could be the key to unlocking the votes he needs to secure the speakership. And his willingness to negotiate on the issue also shows how desperate McCarthy is to seal the deal, even if it means giving up some of his power.

However, other challenges remain. McCarthy, for example, wants a pledge from those who will vote him for president if he agrees to reject the motion to acquit, but his critics want to see him make an ironclad commitment before giving him their support. Theirs.

“The ‘devil is in the details’ in terms of the threshold and other rule concessions,” Norman said. “Until the details are spelled out, in writing, and sealed with social media posts, people won’t move with votes.”

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