McCarthy Gets A Challenge For Speaker, But Gavel Is His To Lose

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13:  U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during a weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on January 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Leader McCarthy announced yesterday that he would not voluntarily cooperate with the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol after the committee has formally requested an interview with him. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • According to Joseph Curl, speakers are highly partisan players who push their own agenda and, with the aptly named aides known as “whips,” keep party opponents in line through force (or sometimes bribery).
  • “People really don’t like Paul Ryan. But why?” CNN wrote in April 2017.
  • Curl noted, the clear frontrunner for the position ought to be Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the current minority leader in the House. But all that changed when the expected red wave turned out to be a pink trickle.

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