Kevin McCarthy vows to remain in race for U.S. House speaker amid hardline opposition
Republican Kevin McCarthy vowed on Tuesday to remain in the race to be the powerful U.S. House of Representatives speaker, hours after hardline members of his party repeatedly blocked his bid to lead their brand-new majority, Qazet.az reports.
In the first day of what could prove to be a brutal showdown between about 20 hardliners and the other 202 members of the Republican caucus, McCarthy failed in three ballots to achieve the 218 votes needed to become speaker, a role second in line to the Oval Office after the vice president.
It was a disconcerting start for the new Republican majority and highlights the challenges the party could face over the next two years, heading into the 2024 presidential election. Their slim 222-212 majority gives greater clout to a small group of hardliners, who want rule changes that would give them greater control over the speaker and more influence over the party's approach to spending and the debt.
Late on Tuesday, McCarthy told reporters that former President Donald Trump had called him and reiterated his support. Trump has backed McCarthy in the race and remains a powerful figure in the Republican Party.