House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that he will not make concessions to Democrats in exchange for helping him keep his leadership post as far-right conservatives prepare to oust him.
“You haven’t asked for anything, I’m not going to provide anything,” McCarthy said an interview on CNBC.
The GOP leader already faces a House vote Tuesday afternoon aimed at ousting him from his top post. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is leading the effort to replace McCarthy in exchange for McCarthy rejecting demands from far-right conservatives to include massive spending cuts in a bill to avert a government shutdown over the weekend.
Gaetz is a strong ally of former President Donald Trump, whom he apparently consulted before submitting his resolution to remove McCarthy.
In his Tuesday interview, McCarthy said he was taking his cue from former longtime Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (Democrat of California). He said that when she was minority leader, she told previous GOP spokespeople that she didn’t believe in the idea of one party helping to save the other party’s supreme leader and that she would always vote against such an attempt.
“Not on saving one individual, but on what’s good for the government, what’s good for the institution as a whole,” McCarthy said of Pelosi’s philosophy, with which he agreed.
“That is [what] The question has to be: Are we in the situation now in our government – that we’ve just made sure the government stays open – that we’re making policy with how you become speaker?” the GOP leader said. “If that’s the case, then I think we have real problems.”
McCarthy’s speakership was plagued from the start. He endured it 14 rounds of failed votes and weeks of humiliation just to become a speaker. The only reason Gaetz can single-handedly force a vote to oust McCarthy is because McCarthy changed House rules to allow a single member to force such a vote at any time ― one of many concessions McCarthy turned to his far-right faction to secure their votes for speaker.
Gaetz filed his order late Monday. House rules require McCarthy to make an appointment a vote on it within two days. According to reports, he is I plan to bring it up later on Tuesday.
Whenever the House votes, McCarthy will need every GOP vote he can get to keep his position as speaker. Republicans control 221 seats in the House of Representatives, nine more than the Democrats’ 212 seats. That means he can only afford to lose up to five Republicans in a full vote in the House.
However, that margin can change depending on how many lawmakers are present and how many are voting. Some could vote present or choose not to vote at all. In the end, all that matters is that the majority of voters want to keep him.