Kevin McCarthy, the member of the Republican party who was just elected as the House Speaker, is about to face his first test as the Republicans have passed a rules package in the US House of Representatives. This is mainly because the Republican Party has a very slight majority in the House which is not enough for the party to pass any legislation without hurdles. Hence, now that the Republican Party has passed a rules package, it will put McCarthy’s ability to negotiate with the House Representatives from the Democratic Party. This rules package was mostly passed because of the Republicans who hold 222 seats in the House. All the Democrats voted against this rules package. Tony Gonzales, a member of the Republican Party, also joined Democrats in voting against the rules package.
Kevin McCarthy, who was struggling to win the majority in the House, managed to secure his name on the position of House Speaker on Jan 7, 2023. Even though McCarty’s party had a majority in the House, the election for House Speaker was stretched to 15 rounds. This is the longest any House assembly had to wait for electing the House speaker in US history. One of the major reasons behind this was McCarthy’s personal and political beliefs because of which, around 20 members of the Republican Party stood against him. Now that the Republican Party holds only 222 seats, 4 seats more than the required majority of 218, McCarthy could only spare a few seats if he wanted to win the position. Because of this, McCarthy did several negotiations with these members of the Republican Party, which included many controversial promises. Because of this, many considered McCarthy a compromised House Speaker. The act of negotiating with the other Representatives made McCarthy look weak and desperate to win the House Speaker elections. Hence, passing the rules package was a massive test for the newly elected House Speaker, which he barely seems to have passed. McCarthy had to lower his expectations in the House to allow the rules package to pass as there were many Republicans who did not like McCarthy negotiating with other Republican members to win.
The Republican Party members are planning to get past the rules phase soon and proceed to the legislative phase as it will allow them to act against the legislation passed by the Democrats when they had control of the House. Republicans also want to corner President Biden by starting an investigation against his son, Hunter Biden, and his business practices. There are also many other legislations that Republicans have in mind, which they want to introduce in the House as soon as possible. These events will test McCarthy’s control and his ability to manage the house when he has managed to create many reciprocals within his party. This is especially true when the Republican Party has such a short lead in the US House. One also has to take into account that no one still does not know what kind of negotiations McCarthy did with the Republican members to gain their support to win the position.