Members of the Main Street Caucus, a group of House Republicans in favor of pragmatic governance, are urging colleagues to support House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for Speaker as he faces opposition from a handful of hard-line conservatives that threatens to keep him from securing the gavel.
“The Main Street Caucus stands unified in support of Kevin McCarthy for Speaker. We firmly urge all our colleagues in the People’s House to join us so that we can immediately begin delivering the common-sense, impactful, and conservative agenda Americans expect and deserve,” members of the caucus wrote in a Wednesday letter to colleagues, first shared with The Hill.
“A Speaker McCarthy, working closely with the Main Street Caucus and backed by the Republican Conference, presents the most direct path to the House finally answering America’s call for kitchen-table results,” the letter continued. “We are confident the gavel will only elevate his ability to effectively champion and communicate our Members’ policies and priorities. With the solid leadership team our Conference has already nominated, we will advance initiatives by finding common ground rooted in our principles – not by simply compromising beliefs.”
A total of 38 GOP House members signed the letter, led by Main Street Caucus Co-Chairs Don Bacon (Neb.), Mike Bost (Ill.) and Pete Stauber (Minn.).
It marks the second significant letter from a caucus within the House Republican Conference encouraging colleagues to support McCarthy as he works to secure enough support to win the Speakership. Last week, members of the more moderate Republican Governance Group, formerly known as the Tuesday Group, urged House Republicans to “put posturing aside” and support McCarthy for Speaker.
McCarthy was nominated to be Speaker by the House GOP conference last month, but must win a majority of all those voting on Jan. 3 in order to take the gavel. Because Republicans will have a slim majority of 222 to 212 Democrats and one vacancy, just a handful of GOP opponents could keep him from securing a majority.
Five conservative House Republicans with a reputation for embracing confrontational tactics have explicitly said or strongly indicated they will not support McCarthy on Jan. 3: Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.) and Bob Good (Va.). Several others have declined to say whether they will vote for McCarthy.
Criticisms from opponents include charges that McCarthy is resistant to rules changes that would empower individual members and that he is unwilling to fully promise impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, though McCarthy has called on Mayorkas to resign or face a potential impeachment inquiry.
The Main Street letter blamed Democratic control of Congress for “a striking decline” in constituents’ quality of life.
“Now, our constituents demand viable solutions focused on lowering costs across the board, maximizing economic growth and opportunity, fiscal responsibility, safety at home and abroad, more efficient government, and freedom. This upcoming speakership election is our opportunity to gather together and light the right path for America,” the letter said.