Column: Kevin McCarthy may win the House speakership. But he can’t control the clown caucus.
Kevin McCarthy may have found himself out of the running for the speakership. And if he gets the gavel, he will be the second consecutive Republican speaker who is a far cry from Paul Ryan.
But it’s not too late.
If House leaders want to send the Senate its best legislative message, they will need to have a new speaker and put the gavel back into the hands of a person who can control the GOP’s clown caucus. In fact, they’ll need to put a new speaker in the chair who can bring some order to a GOP conference that’s gotten out of control over the last few months. They certainly can’t have the current Speaker, Paul Ryan, who will be at the pinnacle of power in a Republican administration.
So it’s in the GOP’s best interest to give McCarthy the opportunity to take the gavel. If he can’t keep his caucus in line, they won’t have a Speaker on their hands.
A new speaker would have to be unafraid to do what’s best for the people in his conference, even if that means alienating the other members in his caucus.
McCarthy has already tried to change the way the GOP works at the national level. He’s shown how he can’t be trusted with the reins of government, and he’s shown he doesn’t think he needs the GOP’s support on key issues.
McCarthy and the House Freedom Caucus, which is now a power within the conference, are pushing legislation that would force a government shutdown, including funding for Obama’s executive amnesty, on the first day of the new Congress.
They’ve also gone to court to try to force House Speaker John Boehner into a vote on the defunding of Obama’s executive amnesty.
If McCarthy does get the gavel, he’ll have to do two things to ensure that the