Republicans who are already serving in the House and those who will soon be joining it from competitive districts and those that President Biden won in the 2020 election made a commitment on Thursday to exclusively back House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for speaker, The Hill reported.
The 15 signatories, which included six representatives and nine representatives-elect, stated in a letter to their fellow conservatives that they would not back “any so-called phantom ‘consensus candidate'” for the Speakership.
“Let us be clear: we are not only supporting Kevin McCarthy for Speaker but are not open to any so-called shadow ‘consensus candidate’ — regardless of how many votes it takes to elect Speaker-designate McCarthy,” they said in the letter.
As the 118th Congress begins on Tuesday, McCarthy is attempting to garner enough supporters to be selected as Speaker.
More than five GOP members of the House have explicitly said or strongly hinted that they would not endorse McCarthy for Speaker, and more have demanded a candidate who will fill the position after McCarthy.
McCarthy, assuming every member of the House is present and voting has to lose no more than four votes to win the Speakership election since Republicans will only have a slim majority in the House during the upcoming session.
McCarthy’s detractors have stated that they will not be backing him, but they have not offered a certain replacement who they believe would be able to win the Speakership.
Nobody other than McCarthy, according to the letter’s signatories, could garner the backing of 218 Republicans to succeed Boehner as Speaker of the House of Representatives. They pointed out that McCarthy had endorsed a number of rule amendments that members had proposed for the Republican conference and the entire House.
McCarthy has endorsed a number of rule amendments, including the requirement that 72 hours elapse between the distribution of a bill’s final language and its vote.
He has also shown sympathy for requests made by certain House Republicans to stop legislation from Senate Republicans who voted in favor of last week’s omnibus government funding package.
But he said earlier this month that the five members’ resistance to his Speakership had not changed, according to conservative radio presenter Hugh Hewitt.
The letter’s signatories expressed concern that some of the rule changes McCarthy adopted may unintentionally give Democrats in the minority greater power, but they indicated they would accept the changes if they brought the Republican conference together behind McCarthy.