Is Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy in trouble?
One veteran congressman is warning that the California Republican faces a “perfect storm” within his own caucus that could threaten his leadership.
GOP Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado cited McCarthy’s varying promises to Republicans to secure his speakership earlier this year.
Buck spoke Sunday on MSNBC with former Biden administration White House press secretary Jen Psaki about three issues facing House Republicans.
“On the one hand, we’ve got to pass a continuing resolution,” he said of funding the federal government.
“We also have the impeachment issue,” Buck said.
“And we also have members of the House, led by my good friend, Chip Roy, who are concerned about policy issues. They want riders in the appropriations bills, amendments in the appropriations bills that guarantee some type of security on our southern border,” the Colorado congressman told Psaki.
Pressure on McCarthy over the three priorities is amounting to a “perfect storm” for the speaker, according to Buck.
“So you take those things put together, and Kevin McCarthy, the speaker, has made promises on each of those issues to different groups,” he said. “And now it is all coming due at the same time.”
The spending bill poses a particularly thorny problem for McCarthy, Buck said.
“It is going to be very difficult to pass a continuing resolution with Republican votes — only Republican votes,” the congressman said.
However, he said, if McCarthy “reaches across the aisle and gets Democrat votes and goes with a higher number than he has promised before … that will cause him problems down the road.”
In January, McCarthy — in order to secure his position — agreed to House rules in which one member can make a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair.
In spite of that, Buck predicted the speaker would weather the storm.
“I don’t see anybody else that really has risen up and is willing to take on this job,” he said.
On Sunday, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz — a longtime McCarthy critic — proposed working with Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California to strip McCarthy of his position.
“If I make a motion to remove Kevin, how [many] Democrat votes can I count on?” Gaetz said in a social media post. “Asking for a friend…”
Buck also cautioned House Republicans against pursuing a hasty impeachment of President Joe Biden, describing it as a fool’s errand distracting from pressing policy issues.
“If we start going down these paths that really bear no fruit — we are not going to get an impeachment through the Senate,” the congressman said.
Buck asserted that congressional investigations of alleged influence peddling by the president and son Hunter Biden haven’t borne fruit incriminating the elder Biden.
“The Judiciary Committee, the Oversight Committee, the Ways and Means Committee are all investigating,” he told Psaki. “They’re developing really good information about Hunter Biden.”
However, the congressman said, “There is not a strong connection at this point between the evidence on Hunter Biden and any evidence connecting the president.”