The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

In a stunning turn of events, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced Thursday that he would not seek election for the position of Speaker of the House.

“I think I shocked some of ya, huh?” McCarthy told reporters only five hours after he had announced his intention to run. McCarthy intends to remain House Majority Leader.

McCarthy had been the presumed successor to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who is set to resign his seat on Oct. 30.

“We need a new face,” McCarthy said at his press conference. “I feel good about the decision. I think we’re only going to be stronger.”

The Republican conference, he said, needed “to be 100-percent united” behind its eventual nominee.

The startling development has exposed deep fissures within the Republican conference and seriously calls into question the party’s ability to unite behind a nominee.

McCarthy has been dogged by pundits and colleagues on both sides of the aisle for his gaffe last week, when he boasted on national television that the Benghazi select committee had been formed specifically to bring down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers. Those remarks, McCarthy conceded in his press conference, “weren’t helpful.”

In his remarks to Republican congressmen, McCarthy said he didn’t want to divide the American people or divide the Congress, Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) told MSNBC.

“I’m not the one,” McCarthy told the GOP conference, to stunned silence, according to reports.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus, which had consistently challenged Boehner during his tenure, described McCarthy’s move as “selfless” and said he was moved by his “statesmanship,” in an interview with CNN.

The Freedom Caucus endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) for Speaker yesterday.

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) told MSNBC that McCarthy clearly could have won a majority of the Republican conference, but was not able to get the 218 votes needed in the House. That may be due to the Freedom Caucus, who in the past have launched renegade coup attempts to deny Boehner the majority vote on the House floor.

Dent speculated that it may be necessary to form a bipartisan coalition — sidestepping the highly conservative element in his party — in order to elect the next Speaker. “At this point anything is possible,” he said.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KA) described McCarthy’s abdication as a “victory for the American people.”

“I think the establishment lost again today,” he told MSNBC. “They essentially lost two Speakers in two weeks.”

The House GOP’s internal election to select their nominee for Speaker had been scheduled for today. Boehner announced that it has been postponed, but has not yet given a new date.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who is seeking the nomination for Speaker, said that the Republican conference is “going to have to do a lot of soul searching” and have a “family discussion” in order to unite the party.

This story has been updated.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at the John Hay Initiative in Washington September 28, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

Sixteen states vying for the early slots in 2024’s presidential primary calendar pitched their case to the Democratic National Committee onWednesday and Thursday, touting their history, diversity, economies, and electoral competitiveness in the general election.

State party officials, a governor, lt. governors, an attorney general, members of Congress, senior staff and party strategists touted their electorates, industries, heritage, and features that would propel presidential candidates and draw national scrutiny, which pleased the officials on the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC). But the panel’s leaders also probed whether Republicans in otherwise promising states would seek to impede a revised Democratic primary calendar.

Keep reading... Show less

Supreme Court

YouTube Screenshot

When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was confronted over his support for the bipartisan bill addressing elements of gun violence, he defended his Second Amendment record, telling reporters: “I spent my career supporting, defending and expanding” gun rights, and stressing that he had “spent years” confirming conservative judges. McConnell made that statement in full confidence that the Supreme Court he packed with three illegitimate justices would do precisely what it did: ensure that sensible gun regulations anywhere would be eliminated.

The court decided the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen case Thursday in 6-3 decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, striking down that state’s 108-year-old provision requiring anyone who wants to get a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the home to show “proper cause” before being granted a permit. The Court’s extremists, Thomas writes, find that New York's strict limits on the concealed carry of firearms in public violates the Second Amendment. It essentially throws out the previous restrictions the Court upheld in its last big gun control case, the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}