The 5 GOP Members Standing in McCarthy’s Ascension Path

Katherine Welles /
Katherine Welles /

If it’s not been made clear yet, there was not all that much of a red wave during the 2022 midterm elections – at least not as much as was expected. However, the Republicans were able to retake the House of Representatives, if by the smallest of margins.

According to FiveThirtyEight, 221 House races have been called for Republicans so far, with one still being processed. That means, at most, the GOP could secure 222 seats for the upcoming congressional session. To attain a majority, 218 seats are needed.

And with that new majority reached, it means Nancy Pelosi, a staunch Democrat, is out as Speaker of the House. Come January, a Republican Party member will take her place.

By and large, it assumed that person will be current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Not only has he led the House Republicans for a number of years, but he wants the job and so far has no real challengers for it.

There is one slight problem, though. Not all House Republicans want him to lead them.

In fact, five have recently made it clear that they aren’t interested in supporting or voting for him when the time comes. And that’s just enough to make the speakership unattainable for McCarthy.

According to Fox News, three of those five are “hard no’s,” as in there is no chance they will ever put a checkmark next to McCarthy’s name for the position. Those individuals are Arizona’s Representative Andy Biggs, Florida’s Matt Gaetz, and South Carolina’s Ralph Norman.

For Gaetz, McCarthy is a huge reason why the red wave expected this past month didn’t happen. And he’s made sure to point out that on a number of occasions since then.

Biggs isn’t any more of a fan. In fact, he’s been so unhappy with McCarthy’s leadership in the past months that he even challenged him in an internal GOP leadership election earlier last month. But, of course, McCarthy still won.

But while these three might not be able to be swayed, the other two might just change their mind in the coming month.

Representatives Bob Good from Virginia and Matt Rosendale of Montana have made it clear that they aren’t all that fond of McCarthy and how he’s run things of late. However, in exchange for a few concessions, they might be convinced that voting for him isn’t such a bad thing.

Rosendale noted that in order for him to vote for McCarthy, he would need promises that legislation and House committees would be more evenly distributed among House members rather than giving the brunt of the power to the House Speaker.

As he told Fox News, “Each member of Congress has earned and deserves equal participation in the legislative process.”

And he’s not wrong. One thing that Republicans tired of rather quickly while the Democrats were in charge was that all the power seemed to reside with Nancy Pelosi and her particular brand of biased liberalism. So no one should be surprised moving forward that they would want things to work differently, starting with just how much power the Speaker has over both legislation and House committees.

Indeed, even McCarthy seems to have noted the need for such. Therefore, he’s actually already made a series of concessions to the legislative process. According to him, if elected Speaker, he’s agreed to push forward a number of new rules mandating that legislation goes through the traditional committee process before being put on the House floor by the Speaker.

For those like Rosendale and Good, it’s a sign in the right direction that he won’t be ruling with quite so much power as Pelosi and that each House member will be given more legislative influence.

And that means McCarthy is that much more likely to win the Speakership. It is noted that, should both Rosendale and Good vote for McCarthy, it won’t really matter if Gaetz, Biggs, and Norman are still against him.

If not, though, his bid for the position will likely be lost.