Current House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy just made a key concession in what has become an uphill battle to become Speaker of the House once the GOP takes control of Congress on Jan. 3rd.
Six Republican sources familiar with internal discussions told CNN that McCarthy conceded to reducing the threshold that is required to force a floor vote on ousting the sitting speaker in an effort to win over holdouts.
One of the numbers that has come up in recent conversations between McCarthy and GOP lawmakers – and which has not been previously reported – is a five-person threshold, according to two of the Republican sources.
Currently, the majority of the House GOP is required to call for the so-called motion to vacate the speaker’s chair. However, some conservatives such as Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL) and Ralph Norman (S.C.) are pushing for a single member to be able to call for such a vote, which they see as an important mechanism to hold the speaker accountable.
A five-person threshold, however, may be too low for the moderate wing of the party, some of whom have privately suggested they would be willing to agree on a 50-person threshold.
The compromise which McCarthy previously said he would not budge on could be key to unlocking the votes he needs to secure the speakership. But his willingness to negotiate on the issue also shows how desperate McCarthy is to seal the deal, even if it means giving away some of his power.
“The ‘devil is in the details’ as far as threshold & other rule concessions,” Norman said. “Until the details are spelled out, in writing and sealed with social media posts, people will not move on votes.”