House GOP in turmoil

B. Jay Cooper
3 min readJan 6

(This is being posted prior to noon on January 6th when the House is scheduled to return to the business of electing a Speaker. Anything can happen anytime.)

The multi-day debate and voting over electing a Speaker of the House could be destined for failure for Kevin McCarthy no matter how many days he delays pulling out of the election.

The nuttiest right-wingest folks, who number five, don’t seem to want him under any conditions. Yet, the House remains in session heading into even more unsuccessful votes today.

Those people who really oppose McCarthy do not want a solution. They just want to “make a point,” and, more importantly, appeal to their supporters and raise money. They don’t really care if there is a functioning House. They don’ even care about governing. Their aim is the most limited government possible.
So, whether it’s McCarthy or someone else, who isn’t one of them, they aren’t likely to vote in favor of anyone.

Already, they apparently have negotiated McCarthy down to a place he claimed he wouldn’t go — — that it will take only one person to make a motion to vacate. They already have apparently won at least two seats on the all-powerful Rules Committee but they are holding out for more.

That motion to vacate has been used once in history, in 1910. when it failed. If such a motion — which is a vote to fire the Speaker — is made it would take, if all members are present, 218 votes to pass. If this should happen, crazily (but we’re in crazy territory already), and if it passed, it would put us right back where we are now. Where are we?

Constituents are not being served as they should be and what’s at stake may be their Social Security checks and other matters that literally are key to their survival. I haven’t heard a word mentioned about that on the floor so far, though maybe I missed it.

Also, there is one Republican member whose mother passed away and the funeral is Saturday. Another GOP member’s wife gave birth and he hasn’t been home to visit. And, already, there is at least one GOP member who will be going home to Colorado after today for a non-emergency medical procedure, which will lower the majority vote needed to elect a Speaker.

Any way — McCarthy doesn’t have the votes. Five in his party say they will never vote for him and it only takes five to stop him. The media makes a lot over the fact that he has lost nine times in votes…

B. Jay Cooper

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: