Posted BY: J. Robert Smith

Republicans have secured a U.S. House majority, barely.  Barely is better than not at all.  But a slim margin will pose daunting challenges to Republicans, who will be led by Kevin McCarthy.  The Californian will win the speaker’s gavel with the full backing of his conference.  He’ll notch a win because the stakes are enormous.  Even, finally, tough-nosed conservative Matt Gaetz knows this

McCarthy wins because he’ll cut a deal with Freedom Caucus members who backed Arizona’s Andy Biggs for speaker.  Biggs won 31 votes to McCarthy’s 188.  Biggs was trounced but really not because those 31 votes loom large.  Republicans may just top 220 seats.  218 seats are a majority.  McCarthy can’t afford more than a few renegades in his conference, so Freedom Caucus members will exact their pounds of flesh.    

McCarthy only becomes a speaker after the whole House voted in January.  The Democrats will nominate creaky Nancy Pelosi, who’s made a few noises about sticking around, or, more likely, Hakeem Jefferies.  Nancy may prefer running the minority to life in retirement with Paul — and any nudist houseguests intruders who happen along.   

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The question to ask McCarthy and the usual suspects who’ll fill other GOP leadership roles is, “Now that you have the majority, what do you plan to do with it?” 

The fear is that House Republicans will spend the next two years as deadweight, simply serving to drag down Biden’s and Chuck Schumer’s anti-everything-that-makes-sense measures. 

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