Did Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., win enough votes in a backroom deal last night to finally be elected Speaker of the House on Thursday?
Former President Donald Trump hinted that a deal was close — or perhaps had been finally made — on his Truth Social website.
The 45th president wrote —
Very good things are happening behind the scenes for the Republican Party. Intense but Smart negotiations between GREAT and PATRIOTIC people are ongoing. They all love our Country, and want something to go forward, ASAP. This “event” will end up making the Republican Party STRONGER and more UNITED than ever before. OUR NATION IS AT STAKE. Stay tuned and, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
Trump may be referring to a reported deal reached between some of the conservative holdouts and McCarthy’s larger Republican establishment voting bloc struck by the Club for Growth. The deal, centered around super PACs and Republican primaries, will move votes back into McCarthy’s camp.
In exchange for support, McCarthy promised to keep the Congressional Leadership Fund PAC from sending funds to open Republican primaries during the next election cycle in exchange for conservative support for his speaker bid, Newsmax reported.
“This agreement on super PACs fulfills a major concern we have pressed for,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said about the deal. “We understand that Leader McCarthy and Members are working on a rules agreement that will meet the principles we have set out previously. Assuming these principles are met, Club for Growth will support Kevin McCarthy for speaker.”
According to those reports, at least some holdout America First caucus members would back McCarthy in the next round of voting Thursday.
Indeed, conservative holdout leader Rep. Andy Biggs, R-A.Z., said that “progress” had been made Thursday night — but also reaffirmed that there was no final breakthrough.
McCarthy is under growing pressure from restless establishment Republicans, and even Democrats, to find the votes he needs or step aside, so the House can open.
Despite inching closer to a deal, there remain enough of McCarthy’s right-flank detractors appear content to wait him out.
“We’re going to either see improvement up here the same way we made remarkable improvements in North Carolina in the state legislature, or I’m out,” Bishop said.
McCarthy can only afford to lose four total votes in his quest to be elected Speaker of the House — three without Bishop’s support.
“No deal yet,” McCarthy said late Wednesday before the House abruptly adjourned. “But a lot of progress.”
The House, which is one-half of Congress, is essentially at a standstill as McCarthy has failed, one vote after another, to win the speaker’s gavel in a grueling spectacle for all the world to see. The ballots have produced almost the same outcome, 20 conservative holdouts still refusing to support him and leaving him far short of the 218 typically needed to win the gavel.
In fact, McCarthy saw his support slipping to 201, as one fellow Republican switched to vote simply present.
“I think people need to work a little more,” McCarthy said Wednesday when they prepared to adjourn for the night. “I don’t think a vote tonight would make any difference. But a vote in the future could.”
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article