Bloomberg Businessweek (November 14, 2022)
Год выпуска: November 14, 2022
Автор: Bloomberg Businessweek Europe
Издательство: «Bloomberg Businessweek Europe»
Формат: PDF (журнал на английском языке)
Количество страниц: 64
The likely Republican takeover of the House of Representatives, narrow as it may end up being, will effectively end the legislative period of the Joe Biden presidency and usher in what’s sure to be an even more contentious era.
One of its most important players will be Representative Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who’s all but certain to become the next House speaker once the 118th Congress is gaveled in on Jan. 3. No figure better illustrates the party’s internal tensions-tensions that, if McCarthy doesn’t manage them, could quickly cause a market crisis or upend geopolitical stability.
Tuesday’s election didn’t produce the red wave many people anticipated, but it still shattered the Democrats’ narrow governing coalition and put McCarthy, who’s long sought the speakership, on the cusp of a personal triumph. Denied the job in 2015, when distrustful House conservatives spurned him in favor of Paul Ryan, McCarthy redoubled his efforts to raise money and win over, or at least appease, the hostile elements in the Republican caucus. This entailed courting not just the likes of Donald Trump but also radical right-wing figures such as Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona. In the process, McCarthy earned a reputation as a prolific fundraiser and tireless glad-hander, and as a political weather vane willing to sacrifice principle and dignity in service of ambition. “Kevin came down to kiss my ass and wants my help to win the House back,” Trump told journalist Bob Woodward after McCarthy’s controversial pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago in Florida following the Capitol insurrection.
McCarthy absorbed arrows like this (and many more) because he calculated-correctly, it appears-that winning back the House and securing the speakership required it. He’s maneuvered himself to the top by promising everything to everyone. The gambit worked with Republicans when they were shut out of power and united by their opposition to Biden, but in January the bill will come due. McCarthy, with only the narrowest of majorities to work with, will be expected to deliver on his promises.
“Everything he’s been doing has been geared toward walking the tightrope so that he can win the speaker’s gavel,” says Sarah Longwell, a Republican strategist who worked to defeat Trump. “After that, all bets are off.”
Over the past decade, the job of Republican House speaker has been the most thankless in Washington. The last two people to hold the position, John Boehner and Paul Ryan, were effectively hounded out of it (and out of politics) by the right wing of their caucus, which was impatient for aggressive conservative reforms neither man could deliver. McCarthy’s task will be even harder, for at least three reasons.
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