“House in Chaos”
For those who think politics is boring, they may have to retract that statement given the past month on Capitol Hill. Today, when many (including myself), thought that Congressman Kevin McCarthy would become the next Speaker of the House, another curve ball was thrown, and he dropped out this morning before there was even a vote. The House, which has the largest Republican majority in years, looked strong as ever last November, but the ever increasing GOP factions have caused a toll, even on leadership, and McCarthy decided that becoming Speaker would just increase these factions. Speaker John Boehner has postponed the vote, but as of right now, there is no leader for the majority party in Congress.
When Boehner announced his resignation, McCarthy seemed like the obvious choice. He is more conservative than Boehner, and was thought to be the likely candidate to appease the far right activists. Unfortunately, he made a remark last week that embodied the ultimate betrayal to conservatives; principles. He said that the newly formed Benghazi Committee, whose goal is to hold Hillary Clinton responsible for a terrorist attack that resulted with the death of four Americans, including an ambassador, hurt Clinton’s poll numbers. There was an immediate negative reaction to this comment, as the GOP has made it their initiative to get to the bottom of what went wrong in Benghazi, and use it to illustrate Clinton’s inadequacy as Secretary of State. Clinton obviously loved this comment, as it was the first crack in a consistent GOP attach on her, and used it for her campaign to prove her innocence and that she was subject to a witch hunt. Because of these comments, and because McCarthy was confident in only receiving 222 votes when a speaker needs 218, he tapped out. In a press conference, he said his reason was that the GOP needed a strong leader with overwhelming support as the party tuns a new page. The problem with this, however, is that there is no clear leader to take the reigns.
According to an inside source that spoke with Politico, Congressman Kevin McCarthy wants to keep his leadership role as Majority Whip. Obviously, without the pressure of being speaker. Who will take this role, is yet to be decided.