After a transition budget deal in the US, an open power struggle broke out among Republicans. The extremists want to overthrow their own “Speaker” McCarthy, who approached the Democratic Party.
A power struggle has erupted among Republicans after a bipartisan compromise to avert a budget freeze in the US. Arch-conservative lawmaker Matt Gaetz has announced his intention to oust his party colleague Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the US House of Representatives. “If Kevin McCarthy is still Speaker of the House next week, it will only be because the Democrats saved him,” Gates told ABC. “I am merciless.”
Earlier in the day, the Republican, referred to as “the speaker,” joined with Democrats to avert a budget freeze through interim funding, against the will of hardliners among Republicans. The midterm budget does not include aid for Ukraine, which hard-line Republicans reject. However, it does not include any spending cuts, as demanded by the same extremists.
“I Will Survive”
Getz had been threatening the move for weeks if McCarthy reached out to Democrats on the budget dispute. Other conservatives supported these statements. McCarthy appeared ready for a fight. “I will survive,” he told CBS. “If he’s upset that he’s trying to shut us down and I’m making sure the government doesn’t shut down, we’ll have to talk about that,” McCarthy said of Getz.
If Gaetz submits the proposal, it will not automatically cost McCarthy his position. A vote can be blocked by motions. Additionally, McCarthy lacks a clear successor among Republicans that all factions of the party can rally behind.
McCarthy’s concessions to extremists
McCarthy’s protracted election in January meant that only one MP could force a vote for the leadership. Because of the Republicans’ narrow majority, he had to make some concessions to hardliners — a delegate who could demand McCarthy’s vote. This is a departure from the practice when Nancy Pelosi was president: Back then, a majority of the House caucus still had to support the process.
Radical Republicans power
The dispute among Republicans will make the House of Representatives’ job — and thus a deal with the Senate — on a final budget for the new fiscal year more difficult. Transition funding expires on November 17th.
In the House of Representatives, Republicans hold a relatively narrow majority of 212 to 221 votes. There are about two dozen MPs from the ultra-conservative camp who reject compromises with the Democrats.
There is no compulsory division in the US. But then it’s hard to predict how many Democrats will support McCarthy. He angered them last month when he launched impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden, which was considered unlikely.
The “Speaker” has considerable influence over the workings of the House of Representatives. He decides which legal proposals should be put on the agenda and when – and which not. After last November’s congressional elections, if the opposition parties had a majority in the House of Representatives, the speaker could use that to block the president’s legislative proposals. This makes the “Speaker” the Leader of the Opposition unless his party has yet announced a presidential candidate.