WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had an unexpected supporter in his bid to be nominated Speaker of the House in the next Congress: conservative firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
Breitbart reports that Greene told Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast that a challenge to the establishment leader would be “a bad strategy when we’re looking at having a very razor-thin majority, with potentially 219 [seats], we’re talking about one vote […] It’s very, very risky right now to produce a leadership challenge, especially for Speaker of the House, when they are going to open the door and allow Liz Cheney, possibly, to become Speaker.”
Cheney, who represents Wyoming’s at-large congressional district, is an establishment Republican who came out in recent years as one of former President Donald Trump’s most aggressive critics, going so far as to support Democrat candidates over Republicans she considers too Trump-aligned.
Earlier this year, Cheney lost the Republican primary for reelection to her current seat with 29% of the vote to challenger (and eventual general-election winner) Harriet Hageman’s 66%. A bid for her to become speaker (a post that does not technically require being a sitting House member) is purely speculative at this point; so far she has spoken only of working against a potential Trump presidential nomination in 2024.
But whether a potential “compromise” speaker would be Cheney or someone else, Greene said, “there are Republicans in our conference right now that would make a deal with the Democrats and cross over. We’ve already seen the former Republican vice president of the United States’ daughter do it.”
Greene’s stance did not sit well with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who quipped that “whatever Kevin has promised Marjorie Taylor Greene, I guarantee you this — at the first opportunity, he will zap her faster than you can say Jewish space laser,” a reference to a bizarre Facebook post Greene made in 2018 and has been recurrently mocked for since. (Gaetz later called coverage of his remarks “bulls***” and insisted he admires Greene).
Matt Gaetz on Marjorie Taylor Greene supporting Kevin McCarthy for Speaker: “At the first opportunity, he will zap her faster than you can say Jewish space laser.” pic.twitter.com/FQXouxmHJB
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) November 15, 2022
Greene and Gaetz are both ardent supporters of Trump. The former president endorsed McCarthy for Speaker despite conservative reservations, which McCarthy reportedly allayed with assurances such as that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) could chair the House Judiciary Committee, and that Greene could gain back the committee assignments taken from her last year in retaliation for controversial remarks.
Ineffective leadership from McCarthy and his Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been one of the many things conservatives argue is to blame for the GOP’s underwhelming performance in last week’s midterm elections, in which the party narrowly retook the House and failed to win the Senate, despite widespread discontent with President Joe Biden’s job performance.
Numerous conservatives and Republicans have, at a minimum, called for party leadership votes to be delayed, and for McCarthy and McConnell to be replaced. Yet, in a disheartening development for grassroots conservatives, the House Republican conference nominated McCarthy for Speaker, with 188 votes versus just 31 for Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ).
McCarthy next needs to secure 218 votes from the full House in January to become its next Speaker.