This week, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voiced his support for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House Speaker, despite McCarthy’s rejection of McConnell’s package of government spending bills.
“I’m pulling for Kevin. I hope he makes it,” McConnell said at a press conference earlier this week after addressing the press.
McConnell’s support for McCarthy comes after the California representative criticized the Senator for supporting the spending package. Should McCarthy be elected Speaker next year, the trillion-dollar spending bill would be “dead on arrival.”
“When I’m Speaker, their bills will be dead on arrival in the House if this nearly $2T monstrosity is allowed to move forward over our objections and the will of the American people,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
Agreed. Except no need to whip—when I’m Speaker, their bills will be dead on arrival in the House if this nearly $2T monstrosity is allowed to move forward over our objections and the will of the American people. https://t.co/WCC477R4IM
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) December 20, 2022
McCarthy has the support of establishment figures like McConnell, but he may not reach the 218 votes needed to become Speaker on Jan. 3. Various high-profile Republican House members refused to support McCarthy.
Reports that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) tore into McCarthy surfaced earlier this week, too.
After former President Trump endorsed McCarthy’s Speakership bid, Charlie Kirk asked why Gaetz would not support him. Gaetz responded, blaming Trump’s inner circle for the former president’s support of Kevin McCarthy.
“Look, I love President Trump, I’m going to vote for him in 2024, I’m going to campaign hard for him, but HR was not always his best thing. It was not only the best people. I mean, I remember having to deal with Jeff Sessions and Mattis and Tillerson and Bill Bar. It was sort of a parade of horribles with some of the people he chose inside of Washington, D.C. so maybe we ought to have a choice come out of the House that represents the Conservative center of our Caucus,” the lawmaker said. “I’ll be for Trump for president but I will not follow him in supporting Kevin McCarthy for Speaker,” Rep. Gaetz added.
Boebert echoed Gaetz’s words, explaining that McCarthy would not be held accountable as House majority speaker. “We have to have accountability here and without that, Kevin McCarthy is not Speaker,” Boebert explained.
It appears that even as a new endorsement for McCarthy comes about, he will still face an uphill battle for the speakership in January.