Rep. Kevin McCarthy May Face Big Problems If GOP Wins Narrow Majority In House

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WASHINGTON — A faction of far-right Republicans person each but promised they’ll endanger a authorities shutdown if the GOP wins backmost the House of Representatives successful the upcoming election, putting person Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) successful a precarious position.

Members of the Freedom Caucus person said they’ll reason immoderate authorities backing measure that expires earlier the adjacent Congress, erstwhile Republicans could power the enclosure and person much leverage to marque demands.

“We should not money a authorities that is continuing to let unfastened borders to endanger the American people,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said Wednesday connected the House level alongside Freedom Caucus seat Scott Perry (R-Pa.).

It’s an illustration of the challenges that volition face McCarthy, the existent House number leader, if his enactment prevails successful November’s midterms — particularly if it wins by a tiny margin, which seems progressively possible.

Earlier this year, polling suggested that Republicans would retake the House successful a “red wave,” giving them gigantic majorities. But the polls person shifted, and the latest investigation from the Cook Political Report says lone 212 races presently thin Republican, portion 31 are toss-ups.

Republicans request 218 for control. They could upwind up with a bulk arsenic slim arsenic the Democrats’ existent four-seat cushion, which was hardly capable to walk a fewer symbolic constabulary betterment bills this week.

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) speaks astatine  a quality    league  with members of the House Freedom Caucus connected  Sept. 15 successful  Washington.
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) speaks astatine a quality league with members of the House Freedom Caucus connected Sept. 15 successful Washington.

Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Meanwhile, an initial letter from Roy this week astir opposing a short-term backing measure garnered 41 signatures from his chap Republicans, and McCarthy has said helium would ballot nary arsenic well.

Government backing expires astatine the extremity of adjacent week, but Democrats program to walk a alleged continuing solution to forestall a shutdown and springiness existent lawmakers clip for a much implicit backing measure aft the midterms — but earlier caller ones are seated. Democrats tin walk the solution without Republican help.

The Freedom Caucus would alternatively hold until aboriginal adjacent twelvemonth — erstwhile the GOP mightiness person much powerfulness — to ballot connected backing the government.

“If we don’t get alteration adjacent week and we get a continuing solution into December, we should request alteration successful December,” Roy said successful his speech. “And if we don’t get alteration successful December, we should request alteration successful January oregon February oregon March.”

The occupation is, adjacent if Republicans instrumentality some chambers of Congress, Democrats volition inactive person filibuster powerfulness successful the Senate and veto powerfulness successful the White House. The Freedom Caucus wants maximalist changes connected immigration, vigor and vaccines, but it volition settee for a authorities shutdown if it can’t get them.

“I’m not funny successful backing bureaucratic assholes who are making my radical little harmless successful Texas,” Roy told HuffPost connected Thursday. “If Biden wants to unopen down the government, that’s connected him.”

Roy served arsenic main of unit to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during the infamous 17-day shutdown that helium helped pb successful 2013. The determination failed to defund then-President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but Roy noted that “Cruz did rather good successful 2016,” erstwhile helium placed a distant 2nd to Donald Trump successful the Republican statesmanlike primary.

A spending showdown is improbable successful aboriginal 2023. Republicans and Democrats connected the House and Senate Appropriations committees are mounting up a lame-duck ballot connected an omnibus spending measure that would money the authorities done adjacent year.

Rep. Tom Cole, a seasoned Republican appropriator from Oklahoma, told HuffPost that a short-term spending measure necessitating high-stakes votes successful February oregon March would beryllium unfair to recently elected lawmakers inactive settling into their offices. And helium suggested it would beryllium futile to effort to placate the Freedom Caucus.

“You can’t constitute an appropriations measure with a Democratic president and deliberation you’re gonna get everything you want,” Cole said.

“I’m not funny successful backing bureaucratic assholes who are making my radical little harmless successful Texas.”

- Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas)

But the Freedom Caucus volition person different opportunities to propulsion its value around. At immoderate constituent adjacent year, Congress volition request to summation the national borrowing limit, which allows the authorities to proceed to walk wealth arsenic lawmakers person already required.

Conservative Republicans person progressively sought to clasp the government’s creditworthiness hostage for different demands. Just this month, Trump complained that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “gave it up for nothing” past year.

A Speaker McCarthy would look a choice: broadside with the Freedom Caucus and endanger a default connected the nationalist debt, with perchance catastrophic economical consequences, oregon enactment with Democrats and hazard his relation arsenic leader.

The Freedom Caucus demanded earlier this year that a Republican House walk bills lone with a “majority of the majority,” meaning it would not o.k. of McCarthy passing a measure with Democratic votes. Not coincidentally, it has besides sought a alteration to House process that would marque it easier to propulsion retired the speaker.

One Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), suggested that McCarthy has done a bully occupation getting on with antithetic Republican factions and mightiness not person specified a hard time. After all, McCarthy survived an audio recording that revealed helium was reasoning of telling Trump to resign the presidency aft the Jan. 6, 2001, riot astatine the Capitol.

“Remember erstwhile those comments came out? They stayed with him, which I conscionable deliberation is impervious of his efforts to span that gap,” Green said.

Most importantly, Trump has stayed with McCarthy, seemingly delighting successful the leader’s efforts to placate him.

Roy refused to accidental whether he’d backmost a House GOP mutiny successful a hypothetical script wherever McCarthy works with Democrats. Instead, helium noted that McCarthy had backed the Freedom Caucus successful the low-stakes lame-duck spending fight.

“That’s a bully sign,” Roy said.

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