On Thursday, a group of seven conservative House Republicans released a list of demands for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to consider if he wants to earn their support in his bid for Speaker of the House.
Axios reports that the group, led by Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-Penn.), sent a letter to McCarthy calling for the future Speaker to make it easier to force a vote on motions to vacate the chair, which would make it easier to remove the Speaker from their position of power. Another demand calls for House GOP leadership to avoid spending any money on House Republican primaries in order to prevent the favoring of one particular candidate over another.
Perry, who describes himself as “clearly” still undecided on whether to vote for McCarthy, has said that “we’ve got to go much further than rules, but we’re happy to have a conversation.” Others in the group include Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas), as well as two congressmen-elect, Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) and Eli Crane (R-Ariz.).
Another member of the group, Congressman Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), who has described McCarthy as a “friend,” said that while he will “continue my consideration of who I will vote for, the items presented are simply what I expect and require for anyone seeking the responsibility of serving as Speaker.”
Republicans are entering the next Congress with a majority of about five seats, which means McCarthy cannot afford to lose more than five Republican votes in his bid for Speaker. Although he defeated Congressman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) in the closed-door vote for the GOP’s official nomination for Speaker, Biggs has since announced that he will challenge McCarthy in the general floor vote in January, which could risk McCarthy falling well below a majority.
The election will be held on January 3rd, 2023. In addition to McCarthy and Biggs, the Democratic nominee is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who is widely expected to receive unanimous Democratic support. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the total votes cast, then the House will revote on as many successive ballots as possible until one candidate receives a majority.