The old saying goes “the more things change the more they stay the same…”
Some Republicans are mulling a move to reinstate Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as House Speaker in the wake of the deadly attacks in Israel.
On Saturday morning, Palestine militant group Hamas launched its surprise attack on Israel, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare war on the organization and order retaliatory action.
“Israel attacks have moderates holding out for the one person who can truly unite us: Kevin McCarthy,” a House GOP lawmaker said.
Last week, McCarthy was ousted by the votes of eight Republicans and all House Democrats thanks to a rule change McCarthy agreed to when he was elected speaker.
However, handing McCarthy back the Speaker’s gavel is an uphill battle due to the support Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) have already garnered. Last week, former President Donald Trump threw his support behind Jordan for Speaker.
McCarthy, for his part, is “aware and grateful” for the efforts to reinstate him, but he’s not engaging at this point, the House GOP lawmaker said.
However, some Republicans are optimistic that it could be done, given the severity of the attack in Israel. They believe the urgency surrounding the attacks could pressure the eight House Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy to switch their stance. Many Republicans are still upset with those who voted against McCarthy, who is a vocal supporter of Israel, and are “using this moment to show how wrong they were,” per the House GOP lawmaker.
“A short window is all we need in the House to reinstate Kevin McCarthy and change the rule,” Rep. John Duarte (R-CA) said.
House Republicans plan on meeting behind closed doors on Monday to hash out details and differences of opinion. On Tuesday, there will be a candidate forum to hear the pros and cons of each speaker candidate.
The conference plans to hold a secret vote on Wednesday to see who it wants to nominate for speaker on the floor. The nomination will go to whichever candidate secures a majority of the GOP conference. That figure could be as low as 113, including the three nonvoting GOP delegates to the House. If all 435 House members participate, a successful candidate will need 217 votes to become speaker.