In the wake of unprecedented attacks on Israel by Islamic militants, some Republican lawmakers endorsed reinstating Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Speaker of the House.
The wave of terror unfolded early Saturday, spreading shock around the world. As the U.S. responds, some GOP members decry the House functioning without a Speaker when action is needed to support one of the nation’s strongest allies.
Critics within Republican ranks charge that the lack of a House Speaker suppresses the chamber’s ability to respond. This led to talk among GOP centrists to return the gavel to McCarthy, according to a report by Politico.
Calls and texts among party members spread the message: “We need to bring back Kevin, immediately.”
The previous battle over the Speaker’s position lasted 15 rounds in January. Some believe this is time the party simply does not have as Israel responds to hundreds and perhaps thousands being slaughtered or held captive.
Removing @SpeakerMcCarthy from office, mid-term, was idiotic. Doing so as Israel faces an all out attack is dangerous. Uncertainty and chaos in the U.S. breeds vulnerability around the world. The House should immediately reinstate McCarthy and stop screwing around. pic.twitter.com/x5qaMAwUAV
— Mike Lawler (@lawler4ny) October 7, 2023
One lawmaker told the outlet, “Israel attacks have moderates holding out for the one person who can truly unite us: Kevin McCarthy.”
Eight Republicans in the House were joined by every Democrat in ousting the California representative. A battle has since emerged between Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) that is expected to play out in coming days.
This in itself is an impediment to reinstating McCarthy as dozens of Republicans have endorsed one or the other candidate. There is also no indication that any of the eight who derailed his position have changed course.
As for McCarthy himself, he said he is “aware and grateful” for the momentum to put him back in the Speaker’s role. A GOP lawmaker told Politico, however, that he is not engaging in the movement.
Following the Saturday attacks on Israel, McCarthy was vocal in criticizing the White House. He also observed that the House is paralyzed from conducting major business without a Speaker.
Addressing Fox News, he said, “there is nothing the House can do unless they elect a Speaker, and I don’t know if that happens quickly.”
Republican lawmakers have other options, such as voting for acting Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) as speaker pro tempore. This removes the temporary title and gives him more power while the GOP decides on a permanent Speaker.