How did Kevin McCarthy overcome the Democrat opposition and 20 or so GOP holdouts and finally become the Speaker of the House after 15 votes over who the Speaker would be? It wasn’t Dan Crenshaw calling the holdouts “terrorists” nor was it pearl-clutching and hand-wringing about the image of the party and how the holdouts were tarnishing it.
Rather, what ended up working was what the 20 Republican holdouts wanted to do from the beginning: negotiate a package of concessions to the right that convinced the holdouts that McCarthy is, if not as conservative as they would like, at least willing to go along with their more conservative, America First program of taking the fight to the Deep State.
Speaking on the agreement between McCarthy and the holdouts whose votes he needed, GOP Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina told reporters:
“I can’t get into details about what the agreement contains, but if I were to characterize it in general, it is that it contains provisions both related to, you know we’ve been working on rules a long time, and we’ve done some more there. It has to do with personnel, how members of the conference will be appropriately distributed to key committees. It is about policy imperatives. There are critical issues that we must address.”
The Daily Caller, adding more details on the agreement that was negotiated, reported that:
Conservatives led by Texas Rep. Chip Roy negotiated a rules package that would devolve power away from the Speaker and back to committees and individual members. Although the details have not been made public, reports indicate that the deal between McCarthy and his detractors includes plum committee assignments, baseline spending promises, and a one vote threshold for the motion to vacate the chair.
That largely follows what Trump suggested was happening behind the scenes on Thursday, when he said “Very good things are happening behind the scenes for the Republican Party. Intense but Smart negotiations between GREAT and PATRIOTIC people are ongoing. They all love our Country, and want something to go forward, ASAP. This “event” will end up making the Republican Party STRONGER and more UNITED than ever before. OUR NATION IS AT STAKE. Stay tuned and, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Those rule changes created by the negotiations, though the exact details are not yet out, likely mean that the House Freedom Caucus will hold a large degree of power over McCarthy, as Brigette Gabriel pointed out on Twitter, saying “McCarthy may hold the gavel, but Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert hold the real power in the House. Kevin McCarthy is a Speaker in Name Only.”
Trump also found the silver lining in the process used to get McCarthy the gavel, saying “The “Speaker” selection process, as crazy as it may seem, has made it all much bigger and more important than if done the more conventional way. Congratulations to Kevin McCarthy and our GREAT Republican Party!”
That post-victory comment was similar to another one he made on Thursday night, saying “I actually think that a big Republican VICTORY today, after going through numerous Roll Calls that failed to produce a Speaker of the House, has made the position & process of getting to be Speaker BIGGER & MORE IMPORTANT than if it were done in the more traditional way, much like me again becoming President after having won big in 2016, gotten many Millions of MORE VOTES in 2020 but “supposedly” not winning (BIG LIE!), & then winning again in 2024. It will be BIGGER than the traditional way!“
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