Senate Republicans Flip On McCarthy

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Senate Republicans are not certain that House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) is able to bring together his conference in the following year. Many Republican senators are also concerned about the push for a year-end spending package, which would include increased spending for defense and assisting Ukraine.

The narrow House majority won by the Republicans in the midterm elections has left McCarthy struggling to secure the 218 votes that he would need in order to become the House Speaker. This is further proof of the trouble that he is bound to have in passing a spending bill or other big legislation in 2023.

Senate Republicans have also said that McCarthy is likely going to be dependent on Democratic votes in order to pass both spending bills and other major legislations. This is because he will need to make up for those members of his conference that will not be supporting him.

Republican senators allied with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have also said that they were hoping to avoid such a situation with the start of the new Congress as the lack of a spending bill could lead to the defense budget and other federal spending priorities being paused for months.

Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.), the retiring ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee has noted that McConnell and his allies would be interested in getting an omnibus but are unwilling to do so “at any cost”.