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What (And Especially Who) To Watch For In Today’s Vote For House Speaker If Rep. Kevin McCarthy Falters

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If you’re a football fan, sorry, it’s Tuesday, and there’s no football.

But if you’re a fan of politics, you’re in luck — the 118th Congress opens today, and finally, Republicans will pick a speaker of the House.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), 57, served as the top Republican in the 117th Congress and should, by right, waltz right into the speakership. But since the midterm elections, two factions in the GOP have formed: “Only Kevin” and “Never Kevin.”

McCarthy will need 218 votes to wield the gavel, but there will be only 222 Republicans in the chamber, meaning he can lose just four GOP votes. Over the last few weeks, some Republicans have gone public with their opposition, which is highly unusual.

Five GOP lawmakers have already announced that they won’t vote for McCarthy. Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) — who ran unsuccessfully against McCarthy for the speaker nomination last month — claims there are upwards of 20 members in the Never Kevin movement.

Should the five follow through and vote against McCarthy, the whole process will be thrown into turmoil.

Then there’s the Only Kevin group, which is much larger.

Dozens of GOP lawmakers, including Trump loyalists and moderates, say they will vote only for McCarthy, even if…



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