Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Majority Leader McCarthy as Speaker?

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Huffington Post)
In response to Boehner's recent resignation from Speaker of the House, today, Kevin McCarthy announced his intention to take up Boehner's vacated post. Currently, he is the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives. Prior to his position as Majority Leader, McCarthy also served as Majority Whip. Besides McCarthy, Daniel Webster will also be trying for the same position. McCarthy is the most well-received candidate for the position thus far. 

As a part of his announcement, his main promise involves reforming the political culture in Washington DC. Despite the rather ambitious claim, McCarthy hasn't announced any of his methods for doing so yet. In addition, McCarthy claims that he will try his best to prevent more government shut downs. He is appealing to his fellow party members carefully by making sure that his decisions will be "the most conservative solution [he] can get into law," but still intends to compromise where he can. 

The rest of the GOP, especially the Freedom Caucus, does not seem to trust McCarthy to uphold the level of conservatism his party wants. They are reluctant to support someone who is willing to compromise with Democrats and President Obama. Without the endorsement of a majority of his party, McCarthy will not even be considered as a nominee for Speaker. 

With what we know about the responsibility of party whips and leaders, do you believe that McCarthy is well suited to succeed Boehner as Speaker of the House? If so, should the Freedom Caucus put their support behind McCarthy even if he might not represent the right amount of conservatism they're looking for? If they don't end up supporting McCarthy, do you believe that they would be further limiting the already slow process of legislature? 

LA Times
Washington Post


hlo323 said...

I think that since McCarthy does have experience as both the House Majority Whip and the House Majority Party Leader, he has the necessary qualifications to become Speaker of the House. However, I think that he would face the exact same problems that Boehner faced with trying to get the Republican Party and especially the Freedom Caucus to agree on issues. Even though McCarthy promises in his announcement that he will "lead the fight for our conservative principles," he also hints that he will be willing to compromise by saying "we will also have the wisdom to listen to our constituents and each other so that we always move forward together". Because of this, it might be difficult to get the Freedom Caucus to vote for his nomination because they don't want someone just like Boehner who would be willing to back down on conservative ideals and compromise with Obama. This relates to the clip we saw in class today about the People and the Power Game because this is an example of how when factions in parties are unwilling to compromise, neither side is able to achieve any part of their agenda.


Eric Chen 1 said...

The fact that Boehner of all people was not conservative enough for the GOP bodes badly. Personally, I doubt there will be much in the way of McCarthy taking the spot as Speaker. There aren't really any strong rivals, and McCarthy's position as majority leader and former whip make him qualified, although his political career is fairly short at only 9 years in the house. With Boehner unable to keep the more vocal, extreme members of his party in line, I find it difficult to believe that McCarthy will be able to do much better in such a volatile political situation with the Presidential race looming. He claims that he will be willing to compromise, but if he tries then he will certainly run into the same issues that caused Boehner to resign and McCarthy is even more conservative than Boehner was, so I find it even less likely that he'll be able to bring about more compromise.

Jared Mayerson said...

I agree with hlo323 that McCarthy definitely has the experience to become Speaker of the House. He is currently the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives and has been the Majority Whip before that. He is an experienced member of Congress who has held other important roles, indicating his qualification for this job. I also think that it is great that he is trying to reduce the amount of government shutdowns. He is willing to compromise in order to do what is best for the country as a whole and not just focus on his personal interests. Although these are all great reasons for him to be the next Speaker of the House, it is, in my opinion, unlikely that he will receive this job due to the fact that, as Katherine said: "Without the endorsement of a majority of his party, McCarthy will not even be considered as a nominee for Speaker." Other members of his political party are not as willing to compromise as he is and therefore will not want him to chair the House.