Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel says House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) appears to be “on track” to win the speaker’s race.
The vote to decide who will lead the lower chamber is set for Tuesday. McCarthy has reportedly struggled to secure enough vote commitments to earn the simple majority needed to win the speakership despite having the support of influential members of the party, including former President Donald Trump.
McDaniel, who is engaged in her own battle to keep her leadership position atop the RNC, acknowledged McCarthy is not a sure winner but still projected confidence in him.
“I wish we had it decided now. We just won the House and I think any delay in getting our agenda done is a delay the voters don’t want,” McDaniel said in an interview with John Catsimatidis on 77 WABC Radio that aired Sunday.
— John Catsimatidis (@JCats2013) January 1, 2023
“I think Kevin McCarthy has done a lot to elect these candidates, fund their candidacies,” she added. “I think he’s on track to be the next speaker.”
Because Republicans narrowly won control of the House in the midterm elections, performing below many expectations, a handful of defectors in the party threaten McCarthy’s ascension. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), a former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, announced he would challenge McCarthy for the gavel, staying in the fight after he lost the Republican nomination for House speaker. Other members are making demands of McCarthy, including Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who said she would not support him without an “accountability mechanism” to remove a speaker, according to The Hill.
CNN reported Friday that McCarthy has been making concessions to various factions in the Republican conference, but he still lacked enough votes to be the next speaker. He is expected to hold a call this afternoon to lock in more support, per MSNBC.
McDaniel acknowledged the uncertainty that still hangs over the contest, saying, “We just don’t know. We won’t know until January 3.”