GOP tensions explode after McCarthy bows out of speaker race
Why it matters: Several Republican lawmakers suggested it will be a challenge for any would-be McCarthy successor to unify the fractious conference he failed to tame.
What they're saying: "Frankly, one has to wonder whether the House is governable at all," said Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) coming out of the closed-door meeting where McCarthy made his announcement.
- Johnson, the chair of the 70-member Main Street Caucus, said he doesn't have a favored candidate for the role: "I'm not sure I would wish this job on anyone. Kevin McCarthy was the most talented member of our conference."
- "I'm at a loss ... I don't know who would want to operate under this set of rules," Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said of McCarthy's announcement, adding that the "right people may have to be convinced" to run for the job.
- "We have a lot of talented individuals in the conference," Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) told Axios. But, he said, "the problem lies" with the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy: "Who are they going to accept? Are they going to attack him or her?"
State of play: The House is set to adjourn for the week and return Tuesday for a candidate forum followed by a possible GOP election on Wednesday to determine their next nominee for speaker, according to multiple members who were at the Tuesday night meeting.
- The decision to skip town on a Tuesday met with anger from some members: "It's absolute horses**t we're jumping on a plane and heading home when our work isn't done," Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) said.
Zoom in: Some Republicans also vented their fury at the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats to remove McCarthy as speaker.
- "I think we have eight selfish a**holes that undermine the institution and the conference," said Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.). "It's wrong. I think Kevin McCarthy certainly did not deserve that."
- Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), a vocal McCarthy ally, said he was "very disappointment, very hurt" by the former speaker's decision "because it means that a group of terrorists have won."
- "The man just loves chaos," Murphy said of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who introduced the motion to vacate.
The other side: Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), who voted to remove McCarthy, called the vote a "win for America because it's a win for change in Congress."
- "I think the American people are looking for a Republican conference, Republican speaker that's going to fight in full force, with every tool at our disposal, to attack and defeat the radical leftist agenda," Good said.
What we're watching: Republicans are in for a hectic week as they scramble to find a replacement for McCarthy.
- Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) announced plans to nominate former President Trump for the job: "Donald J. Trump should come back and be the speaker."
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