(Presidentialwire.com)- On Tuesday, the House Republican conference nominated Kevin McCarthy as their candidate for Speaker of the House, with the current minority leader overcoming a last-minute conservative challenger as the Republicans clinched the majority.
McCarthy won the nomination during an internal meeting of the Republican conference by a secret ballot vote of 188 to 31. As the GOP candidate, McCarthy is the favorite to become Speaker in the Republican-controlled House.
However, since a candidate must win 218 votes to secure the speakership, McCarthy’s path to the gavel isn’t as secure as it could be since the Republicans only received a razor-thin majority in the next Congress. According to the latest projections, the GOP will hold either 218 or 219 seats. This doesn’t give McCarthy much wiggle room.
McCarthy faced an 11th-hour challenge for the nomination from Arizona Republican Andy Biggs, a member of the House Freedom Caucus. Biggs announced his bid for Speaker Monday night during an interview on Newsmax.
In addition to nominating McCarthy, the Republican conference chose Congressman Steve Scalise as majority leader and reelected Elise Stefanik the GOP conference chair. Tom Emmer, the chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, won a three-way race for Republican Whip, the third-highest ranking position.
McCarthy launched his campaign for Speaker last week, telling his GOP colleagues that he would be a “listener” striving to “build consensus from the bottom up” instead of “commanding the agenda from the top down.”
If he wins the Speaker’s gavel, McCarthy has pledged to put an end to Nancy Pelosi’s endless proxy voting and reopen the US Capitol building.
Proxy voting was initially approved by the Democrat House during the pandemic over two years ago. But Pelosi has continued to extend it well after the pandemic ended, with her latest extension being announced last week.
McCarthy also vowed to entrust House committees with drafting and marking up bills and would marshal resources to allow the House to conduct oversight of the Biden administration.