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Kevin McCarthy becomes Speaker of the House

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After a total of 15 ballots, Kevin McCarthy has been selected to be the Speaker of the House. It took 15 times to elect McCarthy as there was some dissension in the Republican majority as members of the Freedom Caucus, the far-right section of the House made up of 54 members, had opposed McCarthy as Speaker of the House. 20 members of the Freedom Caucus held up the vote.

Ultimately, voting multiple times for different people over McCarthy, including Jim Jordan, former leader of the Freedom Caucus, Andy Biggs, former leader of the Freedom Caucus, Byron Donalds, a relatively new Representative from the Freedom Caucus, Kevin Hern, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, and former President Donald John Trump. In the end, McCarthy managed to flip 14 members going into the final day, and on the 14th ballot, McCarthy fell short by one vote. McCarthy seemingly made a deal with the last few Freedom Caucus members, allowing him to secure the Speakership.

For McCarthy to gain the votes he had to make concessions, primarily to the Freedom Caucus. The concussions will seemingly make McCarthy significantly weaker than the previous Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The biggest change is the number of votes needed to trigger a vote of no confidence in the Speaker, reducing the amount to just one member from the previous five members needed to remove McCarthy from Speakership.

Multiple bills were promised to receive a vote in the House. A bill to establish term limits for all House Representatives and a bill about border security from Texas Republicans. Another aspect that McCarthy had to agree to was reducing debt, by balancing the budget in 10 years via reforms to entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Other things given by McCarthy to win support include bringing back the Holman rule, which rule that allows members to propose amendments to spending bills that cuts the salaries and funding to specific programs down to 1 dollar, effectively defunding the entire program.

Another proposal is the creation of a new committee called “Weaponization of the Federal Government,” a committee to investigate government abuses. Another promise presented was requiring 72 hours after a finalized bill is released before a vote can be called. Finally, a lesser-known, typical concussion relates to committee positions. Multiple members have allegedly been given committee spots of their choice in exchange for their votes.

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