GOP plans for House committees delayed as McCarthy grapples with speaker vote


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks with reporters at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, about his meeting with President Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Susan Walsh/AP

GOP plans for House committees delayed as McCarthy grapples with speaker vote

Video Embed

With House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) prospects for locking down the speakership remaining uncertain, the House GOP’s steering committee has opted to push back its date for deciding contested races for committee chairmanships, with the panel only set to take up uncontested chair races on Wednesday, multiple senior GOP sources confirmed to the Washington Examiner.

The steering committee is tasked with deciding which members sit on and lead certain panels. The speaker of the House is allotted a disproportionate number of votes — four, the No. 2 GOP member in leadership receives two, and all other steering members receive one.

Two GOP lawmakers said they believe the steering proceedings could be pushed back to after the Jan. 3 floor vote, when the floor vote for speaker is slated to take place.


Facing a razor-thin majority, McCarthy is currently struggling to secure the 218 votes needed on the floor to become the next speaker. Five conservatives — former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ), who challenged McCarthy in the internal election, Reps. Ralph Norman (R-SC), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), and Bob Good (R-VA) — have publicly come out against the California Republican, vowing that they won’t even vote “present” on the floor to bring down his threshold needed for the position. Multiple GOP lawmakers said additional members are expected to voice opposition to McCarthy in the coming weeks.

“That looks incredibly weak for McCarthy — if he has to delay that until after the speaker vote, he’s got serious problems,” one GOP aide told the Washington Examiner.

Other senior GOP sources said McCarthy’s numbers problem may stem beyond the far-right flank of the party as he works to shore up support.

“There are [non-Freedom Caucus] members that Kevin McCarthy has not asked directly for their support,” one senior GOP source familiar with the situation said. “The fact is that he’s so focused on trying to appeal to the right flank that it seems like he’s just resting on his laurels that all the rest of them will fall into line — I just don’t know that’s the case.”

Despite members of the conference voicing that they will not vote for him on the floor, McCarthy has expressed confidence that he will prevail in his quest to become speaker.


The California Republican has cautioned that if members of the conference don’t rally around him on the floor, there is a possibility that Democrats could get their speaker of choice.

“We have to speak as one voice. We will only be successful if we work together or we’ll lose individually. This is very fragile — that we are the only stopgap for this Biden administration,” McCarthy said on Newsmax late last month. “And if we don’t do this right, the Democrats can take the majority. If we play games on the floor, the Democrats can end up picking who the speaker is.”

His defectors have asserted that they believe the party will rally around a compromise candidate in the coming weeks.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

Related Content