LA Times McManus: McConnell Is ‘Real Winner’ Of House GOP Fight

In a political column in the Sunday Los Angeles Times, reporter Doyle McManus writes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the real winner in the battle within the House Republican Party that resulted in a long, intense standoff last week over electing California GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy chamber speaker.
President Joe Biden shakes hands with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., after speaking about his infrastructure agenda under the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Covington, Ky. Biden's infrastructure deal that was enacted in late 2021 will offer federal grants to Ohio and Kentucky to build a companion bridge that is intended to alleviate traffic on the Brent Spence Bridge, background at left. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

At a glance

  • McConnell is unpopular among the GOP’s most conservative wing, which considers a Washington “swamp creature” who’s stayed in leadership too long.
  • Though the Kentucky Republican is considered a good bipartisan dealmaker, those conservatives are also more recently upset with him for providing little – if any – resistence to congressional Democrats passing a $7 appropriations bill.
  • “The television split screen told the story,”McManus writes. “On one side, Republicans in the House of Representatives labored through the fourth of the 15 ballots they needed during four days of gridlock to choose Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker. On the other side, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell stood beaming with President Biden as they congratulated each other for a bipartisan success: a $1.6-billion deal to replace a crumbling highway bridge across the Ohio River.”

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