McCarthy’s Wrong-Headed Compromise

 

Kevin McCarthy has offered to reform the motion to remove the Speaker of the House to gain the votes of the recalcitrant conservatives. Nancy Pelosi had changed the House rules so that only House leadership could offer such a motion, which was obviously never going to happen under her reign. McCarthy has offered to change the rules again so that five members could offer such a motion, although it would still require a majority vote to remove the speaker.

This is a mistake. While there should be the possibility to offer a motion to remove the speaker, the bar should be high. The speaker needs to have enough authority to push hard compromises through and to discipline members who never cooperate. If five members can offer such a motion, he will always be walking on thin ice. It will exacerbate the current infighting in the Republican caucus. Requiring 25 or 50 members to offer such a motion would still make it a realistic possibility to remove him if he really screws up without making it too easy.

The compromise that he should offer is to restore regular order and to empower the committee chairmen to run their committees. Regular order in the budget process would result in more attention paid to the details of appropriations. It would show that Republicans can run the House and manage the nation’s budget.

Empowering the committee chairmen would result in legislation with tighter language and better ideas. Committees would again mark up bills, which would bring more voices into the process. It would have a chance to break up the solid Democratic bloc as those with more moderate ideas would have them considered. Moderate Democrats would no longer have to submit to the wacky progressive leadership in order to influence legislation. It would be scary because the House leadership would no longer control everything, but it would bring the more responsible voices on both sides to the fore.

The battle royal would occur if the House would produce twelve appropriations bills and the Schumer’s Senate would slap together another omnibus. But if the House Republicans would stand firm, they could contrast their responsible governance with yet another gargantuan spending blowout. They could take record of responsible governance into the 2024 elections.

Kevin McCarthy, if you want to be Speaker and be effective, restore regular order and the committees.

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Never, ever underestimate the ability of Republican politicians to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • #1
  2. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Fast,

    Great post!  Too few of our articles about politics are well-informed, intelligent, and well thought out as this one is.

    Most are the kind of “doomer” rubbish that, as @omegapaladin wrote yesterday, merely help drag this site and our movement into the toxic waste dump of the blogosphere and diminish the unique—literally unique—character that makes people willing to pay hard-earned cash for a subscription.

    I hope folks will give a thought before caving in to the temptation to mewl. Sometimes even some our best and brightest fall in.

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Horowitz: McCarthy passed budget bills with Dem support during Trump years

    There seems to be an epidemic of political amnesia afflicting some in the legacy Conservative Inc. circles, allowing them to propagate a message that McCarthy, unlike McConnell, is somehow a new kid on the block intrepidly representing the interests of conservatives in 2022. In reality, he is a rusted-out fossil from the Boehner-Cantor-Ryan gang that perfidiously betrayed us on every issue, leverage point, and strategy that could have precluded the terrible morass we find ourselves in today. While McCarthy was never speaker, he was the majority leader from 2014 (and whip since 2010), including those critical years – 2017-2018 – when Republicans held all three branches.

    . . .

    Here’s that reality. Every single major budget bill that passed under McCarthy’s leadership as floor leader of the last GOP House, which was when the GOP controlled the trifecta and commanded full stewardship over the policies, was passed with more Democrat support than Republican support. It was simply unprecedented in modern history. Imagine the Biden-Schumer-Pelosi Congress passing budget bills nearly unanimously pleasing to Republicans but detested by their core base. Never going to happen, because they don’t have Kevin McCarthy equivalents.

    • #3
  4. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    On the first ballot for Speaker of the House:

    Jeffries (Democrat): 212

    McCarthy (Republican): 203

    Biggs (Republican): 10

    Other Republicans: 9

     

    Since no candidate got a majority, they will vote again.  

    • #4
  5. Viruscop Inactive
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    On the first ballot for Speaker of the House:

    Jeffries (Democrat): 212

    McCarthy (Republican): 203

    Biggs (Republican): 10

    Other Republicans: 9

     

    Since no candidate got a majority, they will vote again.

    First time since 1923.

    • #5
  6. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    How to Win Friends and Influence People

     

    • #6
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    How to Win Friends and Influence People

    Is there any Republican who disappointed us as quickly as Eyepatch McCain?

     

    • #7
  8. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Currently Representative Jim Jordon, who received 6 votes for Speaker, is nominating Kevin McCarthy for Speaker on the second ballot.

    I wonder if at the end of about a dozen or so votes for Speaker, we will end up with a Speaker who leads a bi-partisan coalition.  I have no idea how this ends.

    • #8
  9. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Currently Representative Jim Jordon, who received 6 votes for Speaker, is nominating Kevin McCarthy for Speaker on the second ballot.

    I wonder if at the end of about a dozen or so votes for Speaker, we will end up with a Speaker who leads a bi-partisan coalition. I have no idea how this ends.

    And Matt Gaetz nominates Jim Jordan.   Got to love a good floor fight.  I much prefer this to the lockstep leftism on display from the Dems.

    • #9
  10. Viruscop Inactive
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    How to Win Friends and Influence People

    Is there any Republican who disappointed us as quickly as Eyepatch McCain?

     

    What about actual McCain?

    • #10
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Currently Representative Jim Jordon, who received 6 votes for Speaker, is nominating Kevin McCarthy for Speaker on the second ballot.

    I wonder if at the end of about a dozen or so votes for Speaker, we will end up with a Speaker who leads a bi-partisan coalition. I have no idea how this ends.

    And Matt Gaetz nominates Jim Jordan. Got to love a good floor fight. I much prefer this to the lockstep leftism on display from the Dems.

    Of course, that lock-step leftism is why they succeed. Unfortunately for the whole country.

     

    • #11
  12. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    How to Win Friends and Influence People

    Is there any Republican who disappointed us as quickly as Eyepatch McCain?

    What about actual McCain?

    I don’t think disappointment happened so quickly with him.

    • #12
  13. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Currently Representative Jim Jordon, who received 6 votes for Speaker, is nominating Kevin McCarthy for Speaker on the second ballot.

    I wonder if at the end of about a dozen or so votes for Speaker, we will end up with a Speaker who leads a bi-partisan coalition. I have no idea how this ends.

    And Matt Gaetz nominates Jim Jordan. Got to love a good floor fight. I much prefer this to the lockstep leftism on display from the Dems.

    Could Jeffries actually become Speaker even though Democrats are in the minority?  

    I read something about a week ago that the House, if it wants, can have a vote where a plurality is sufficient to become Speaker.  If that happens, make sure you have a stiff drink in front of you before you hear the news.  

    • #13
  14. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    It would be just like the current GOP to elect a Democrat as Speaker of the House.

    It would fit in well with McConnell’s calculated loss.

    And add put more weight on the scale for “not a dime’s bit of difference between them.”

    Even Henry would start to doubt.

    • #14
  15. Viruscop Inactive
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Currently Representative Jim Jordon, who received 6 votes for Speaker, is nominating Kevin McCarthy for Speaker on the second ballot.

    I wonder if at the end of about a dozen or so votes for Speaker, we will end up with a Speaker who leads a bi-partisan coalition. I have no idea how this ends.

    And Matt Gaetz nominates Jim Jordan. Got to love a good floor fight. I much prefer this to the lockstep leftism on display from the Dems.

    Could Jeffries actually become Speaker even though Democrats are in the minority?

    I read something about a week ago that the House, if it wants, can have a vote where a plurality is sufficient to become Speaker. If that happens, make sure you have a stiff drink in front of you before you hear the news.

    According to this, they could also do ranked-choice voting. Maybe McCarthy could win in that situation.

    • #15
  16. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Next ballot should be Lee Zeldin.

    Or at the very least McCarthy should slink off and do whatever it is that he does….

    • #16
  17. Viruscop Inactive
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Next ballot should be Lee Zeldin.

    Or at the very least McCarthy should slink off and do whatever it is that he does….

    He was nominated in the first round. He got one vote.

    • #17
  18. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Right now it’s Jeffries (Democrat) 164, McCarthy (Republican) 164, Jordan (Republican) 18.

    • #18
  19. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Next ballot should be Lee Zeldin.

    Or at the very least McCarthy should slink off and do whatever it is that he does….

    He was nominated in the first round. He got one vote.

    Yes, and McCarthy still doesn’t have the votes.  

     

    • #19
  20. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    On the first ballot for Speaker of the House:

    Jeffries (Democrat): 212

    McCarthy (Republican): 203

    Biggs (Republican): 10

    Other Republicans: 9

     

    Since no candidate got a majority, they will vote again.

    First time since 1923.

    So, I guess every 100 years we decide to have vote-o-rama while selecting a Speaker of the House?

    • #20
  21. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    So, I guess every 100 years we decide to have vote-o-rama while selecting a Speaker of the House?

    Well we’ve had vote-o-ramas for the past two election cycles, so why shouldn’t it ooze into the House of Representatives.

    But, decorum and all that….

    • #21
  22. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    So, I guess every 100 years we decide to have vote-o-rama while selecting a Speaker of the House?

    Well we’ve had vote-o-ramas for the past two election cycles, so why shouldn’t it ooze into the House of Representatives.

    They’re just voting to see who’s going to receive the largest portion of the graft.

    • #22
  23. Viruscop Inactive
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    On the first ballot for Speaker of the House:

    Jeffries (Democrat): 212

    McCarthy (Republican): 203

    Biggs (Republican): 10

    Other Republicans: 9

     

    Since no candidate got a majority, they will vote again.

    First time since 1923.

    So, I guess every 100 years we decide to have vote-o-rama while selecting a Speaker of the House?

    Conservatives seek to preserve tradition.

    • #23
  24. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    • #24
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Why wouldn’t the Dims throw a few votes to McCarthy if they think they’d rather deal with him instead of one of the others?

    • #25
  26. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Why wouldn’t the Dims throw a few votes to McCarthy if they think they’d rather deal with him instead of one of the others?

    I think the Democrats are enjoying watching the Republicans make fools of themselves on national television.  They can say to the voters, “This is what you get when you elect a Republican majority: Chaos.”

    Then they hope to win back the majority in 2024.  

    • #26
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Why wouldn’t the Dims throw a few votes to McCarthy if they think they’d rather deal with him instead of one of the others?

    I think the Democrats are enjoying watching the Republicans make fools of themselves on national television.

    People are watching this on television?

    There’s a big part of the problem, right there.

     

    • #27
  28. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Why wouldn’t the Dims throw a few votes to McCarthy if they think they’d rather deal with him instead of one of the others?

    I think the Democrats are enjoying watching the Republicans make fools of themselves on national television. They can say to the voters, “This is what you get when you elect a Republican majority: Chaos.”

    Then they hope to win back the majority in 2024.

    Well maybe for now.  But for sure they aren’t going to get Pelosi again, so they might as well drag whoever they would prefer to deal with – or whoever they think would make the Republicans look the worst – across the line.

    • #28
  29. Steve Fast Coolidge
    Steve Fast
    @SteveFast

    I’m not a fan of McCarthy, but the 19 Never-Keviners are their own worst enemies. They are making the Republicans look fractious and incapable of governing on national television. You settle your own differences in private and then come out united if you want to be effective.

    If you want to get beat by crazy leftists and dementia patients in 2024, keep doing what you’re doing, Never-Keviners.

    • #29
  30. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Steve Fast (View Comment):
    …fractious and incapable of governing on national television. You settle your own differences in private and then come out united if you want to be effective.

    If the past two years are the definition of governing, then I welcome the fractious and incapable.  And what is McCarthy doing to settle differences?  Apparently nothing.  Should he eventually prevail, I’m sure he will not be vindictive at all.  No, not at all.

    Oh, wait, he sent Dan Crenshaw out to call names.  That’ll do it!

    McCarthy lost Byron Donalds.  And he’s on to vote number 4.  Such a leader.

    • #30
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