Rep. Kevin McCarthy finally made his way to speaker after 15 rounds of voting and more than four days of a congressional stalemate, convincing nearly all of his critics to turn their votes and elect him to the gavel just after midnight on Saturday.
The first week of the new Congress has been a grueling one for both McCarthy, who failed to win the first ballot – a result not seen in the past 100 years, and for the Republican Party, whose members have dragged out their civil war House Floor and revealed how divided the House GOP is.
The battle for the speakership suggests the next two years will be turbulent for the new Republican majority and questions whether McCarthy can successfully rule in a chamber where he has just 10 more seats than Democrats: 222 Republicans to 212 Democrats, with one vacant seat in Virginia due to Rep. Donald McEachin’s death in November 2022.
With members of the House of Representatives reconvening next week, here are the top three things to watch out for after early Saturday’s vote:
Committee assignments for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar
In 2021, both Greene and Gosar were stripped of their committee duties for interacting with social media posts supporting violence against their Democratic peers, though Greene said their removal was linked to their efforts to get members of the House of Representatives for roll-call votes to speak up.
Now that Republicans are in the majority, it remains questionable whether McCarthy will reinstate her role.
Prior to February 4, 2021, Greene served on the Budget Committee and the Education and Labor Committee. Gosar served on the Natural Resources Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee prior to his removal on November 17, 2021.
Ahead of the speaker’s vote, some political commentators suggested that Greene strike a deal with McCarthy over her deployment in exchange for her endorsement – a clear victory for McCarthy, who was struggling to garner support from the GOP’s far-right members. Greene has denied making a deal with McCarthy.
Earlier this week, Greene told the press that House Republicans learned during a conference meeting that there were three members of the House Freedom Caucus calling for positions on subcommittees before speakers voted. “I didn’t do this for me,” she added.
Gosar, on the other hand, voted against McCarthy on the first 11 ballots but reversed his vote on the 12th, looking excited before casting his vote and quickly walking off the floor as McCarthy’s allies applauded him.
Former Trump White House director of strategic communications Alyssa Farah suggested McCarthy may have made a promise to Gosar in exchange for turning around.
“The devil is always in the details,” Farah tweeted on Friday. “I’m very curious/nervous/concerned to see what McCarthy promised that *Paul Gosar* would flip.”
GOP investigation into Hunter Biden, Dr. Fauci and immigration
House Republicans have vowed to probe everyone from President Joe Biden and his family to the Justice Department once they have a majority in the chamber.
Oversight committee members have vowed to focus on Biden’s son Hunter “because we believe he poses a national security threat because of his international dealings.”
Representative Jim Jordan also has investigations into the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, for alleged COVID disinformation and the DOJ for “against parents” by investigating threats of violence against school administrators, board members and teachers.
Republicans have also rallied behind the situation at the border, calling for the Department of Homeland Security to be investigated over the Biden administration’s response to the influx of migrants. In addition, more than 30 House Republicans co-sponsored a resolution to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Political Future of McCarthy’s Dissidents
While McCarthy was able to turn around enough of his critics to finally win the gavel, there were staunch opponents within the GOP who firmly blocked his path through the first 14 votes. Whether those Republicans — like Reps. Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz — will suffer political backlash from McCarthy, who may keep them from committee assignments, is also unknown.
It’s also unclear if McCarthy allies will stop his defectors from holding more power within the Republican conference.
Taking Twitter on Thursday, Boebert insisted“We’re not making a point. We’re making a change.”
https://www.newsweek.com/kevin-mccarthy-secures-house-speakership-what-comes-next-1772001 Here’s what to look out for next