Let’s start with some simple math here. It’s not good math for Kevin McCarthy.
First of all, to absolutely come — well, first of all, House Republicans come into this session of Congress with 222 members. But to absolutely clinch the speakership, you need a majority of the House. That’s 218. That’s easy math. So, Kevin McCarthy can spare all of his Republicans except for four.
Here’s the problem. Not yet on board with Mr. McCarthy, 14 or more members of his own party say that they’re not there yet. Now, some of these groups say they’re a hard no. There’s others who came out with a letter yesterday after Mr. McCarthy proposed a sweeping amount of changes that they said they wanted. They said they’re still not there yet.
Here’s an excerpt from that letter of this group that I call not-yet-Kevin. They say: “There continue to be missing specific commitments with respect to virtually every component of our entreaties.”
What does that mean? They don’t trust him. They don’t believe he’s made firm enough commitments. Talking with some of these members today, talking with those around them, the mood from those folks are, let’s just go ahead and do it. In fact, one of them said, why not open this Pandora’s box? This is legislating. It’s OK if there’s a little chaos.
The rest of the Republican Party may not agree with that.