McCarthy Does a 180

Kevin McCarthy

( – After repeatedly turning down the idea of running for Speaker again, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California has now expressed his willingness to take back the position if the GOP conference requests him to do so despite being forced out of the role by eight Republican members.

“Look, the conference has to make that decision. I’m still a member. I’m going to continue to fight and act,” McCarthy stated during an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt. He emphasized his readiness to align with the wishes of the conference and underscored the importance of GOP unity.

The move to remove McCarthy from the speakership came after eight Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, joined House Democrats in a vote to oust him. These dissenting Republicans cited concerns that McCarthy had not adequately championed conservative priorities, particularly regarding spending, and had engaged in too many agreements with Democrats.

McCarthy defended his previous actions, stating that the rebels within the GOP had created a crisis by obstructing the passage of appropriations bills and voting against a continuing resolution designed to secure the border and reduce spending. He further argued that their stance would have resulted in a government shutdown, jeopardizing the payment of troops, particularly in light of the evolving situation in the Middle East.

McCarthy’s decision to prioritize averting a government shutdown in this context was underscored by the attack on Israel and the consequential deployment of U.S. military forces. He emphasized that failing to fund the government at that critical juncture would have weakened the nation’s position.

The competition for the next Speaker of the House among Republicans continues, with Majority Leader Steve Scalise and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan vying for the role. House Republicans are scheduled to hold a candidate forum, followed by a conference vote, to determine their candidate. The party is determined to ensure they have a candidate with adequate GOP support before proceeding with a floor vote for the position.