Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., just made an accurate prediction that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not be Speaker of the House next year because she does not have the votes.
“They said in the House, Republicans would lose 15-20 seats, every pollster said that, Speaker Pelosi and Steny Hoyer. They also said we would lose the Senate and legislatures as well. What happened? “ he asked.
“We didn’t lose one incumbent. We won every seat except one open. We won 28 of the 29 most competitive seats. We didn’t lose the Senate. We didn’t lose one control of any legislature. Actually, Republicans gained three new legislatures and we’ve had the most competitive presidential race in our modern history,” he added.
“To become Speaker you have to have 218 votes on the floor,” he said. “When Pelosi went up for that vote two years ago, there were 15 Democrats who voted against her. Ten of those Democrats will be coming to Congress. Those 10 vote against her again, she will not be Speaker of the House.”
“We are close enough now that we can control the floor with a few Democrats joining with us,” he said before adding, “I think it’s better for America the sooner a Republican becomes Speaker.”
Days after Republicans defied expectations by picking up seats in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy cited a junior member of Congress — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) — as one of the reasons he was able to raise so much money.
Driving the news: “Well, she runs the floor,” McCarthy told “Axios on HBO” last night when asked why Republicans respond so vociferously to AOC.
“That wing of the party, the socialist wing of the party, they are the new power of the Democratic Party. … You watched on the floor. Legislation couldn’t be passed unless AOC agreed with it.”
Why it matters: House Democrats underperformed Biden in down-ballot races across the country and they’re scrambling to figure out why.
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) said she wouldn’t run for re-election as chair of House Democrats’ campaign arm after a heated caucus call last in which one moderate member warned her colleagues: “We need to not ever use the words socialist or socialism ever again.”
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the top African-American lawmaker in the House, had a similar message, telling “Axios on HBO”: “Stop sloganeering. Sloganeering kills people. Sloganeering destroys movements.”
“This foolishness about you got to be this progressive or that progressive. That phrase “defund the police” cost Jaime Harrison tremendously. I’m not saying it was the only problem,” Clyburn told Alexi McCammond, acknowledging that he was angry.
“When you ask somebody, ‘Why would you want to defund the police?’ They’ll tell you, ‘That’s not what we mean. This is what we mean.’ My position is in politics, the moment you start explaining what you mean, you are losing the argument.”