It’s a bad idea for people who are standing on thin ice to start pouring hot water everywhere, but apparently Kevin McCarthy didn’t get the memo. You have doubtlessly seen the negative quotes from the New York Times, which were leaked by enemies of McCarthy (of which there is no small supply, evidently) which quoted McCarthy trashing Steve Scalise and Jodey Arrington as “ineffective” and “incompetent” relatively speaking.
That didn’t make him a lot of points. That was last Thursday, that that particular bombshell exploded.
Now, today, McCarthy was speaking at the New York Stock Exchange about how he would cut SNAP benefits as part of a plan to balance the budget, which got John Fetterman to remark, “Cut SNAP for families and kids while pushing tax cuts for billionaires? Not on my watch.” Then Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA) called the proposal a “pro-starvation agenda” on Twitter.
Not making a lot of allies, this proposal. This is why discussion started last Thursday about McCarthy being removed as Speaker, maybe for good. Axios:
What they’re saying: A GOP lawmaker accused McCarthy of using Scalise and Arrington as scapegoats before budget and debt ceiling negotiations have fully imploded.
- “The members I’ve spoken with are just stunned by his rebuking of his budget chair, and certainly of our leadership,” another House Republican told Axios.
- “I can’t imagine [he will last an entire term].”
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) – one of McCarthy’s 20 defectors who sits on the Budget Committee — blasted the infighting and called for McCarthy to take a larger role.
- “The agreements made by Speaker McCarthy, among other things, is to begin the ten year balanced budget NOW and with his initiatives & directives, it’s HIS responsibility to get the 218 votes to ensure our nation’s financial security JUST AS HE DID IN SECURING THE 218 votes for speaker.”
Behind the scenes: The report has reopened old wounds between McCarthy and Scalise — who was previously seen as a rival and potential speaker contender if the California Republican failed to obtain the gavel.
Scalise might obtain the gavel. That very well could happen. Axios went out of its way to state that “House conservatives say they aren’t ready to pull the trigger on a motion to vacate that could oust McCarthy as speaker. But this has ramped up the level of conversations.”
Again, that was before SNAP came to the table. The proposal that would include cutting SNAP is speculated to arrive DOA at the Senate and it’s fully anticipated that the blow back from that will include a motion to vacate McCarthy as Speaker.
Meanwhile, the GOP dream of McCarthy putting together a plan that will balance the budget in ten years keeps receding like the horizon.