The majority leader of the House, Kevin McCarthy, has launched a call for the minority leader on Wednesday, moving to assert control over the Republican Conference even when the GOP legislators begin to grapple with the loss of the majority on election day.
McCarthy already has a challenge from his right, even though the California Republican and his allies believe that McCarthy will win this race easily. Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), one of the founders of House Freedom Caucus, has already announced that he is running for the minority leader.
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Majority House Whip Steve Scalise announced he will race for the minority in the 116th Congress, which would make McCarthy and Scalise the first two Republicans if they succeed, as expected.
The leadership leadership arrives even before Tuesday's final bill of losses swept the House Republicans out of the House after eight years.
"Today is a difficult day, our members have competed hard for the whole country, but after months of persistent attacks without stop and unprecedented liberal resources, we have failed to challenge history and keep the Chamber", McCarthy, 53, wrote in a letter to other Republicans in the House on Wednesday. "Even so, we should not allow the results of last night to diminish the great achievements of President Trump and our majority."
McCarthy added: "I helped build a majority from a deeper hole than this and I have what it takes to do it again. That's why I decided to run for Republican and humbly ask for your support."
Repeating the statements of President Donald Trump, with whom McCarthy has a close relationship, the Californian Republican said that "we have seen where the Democrats want to bring our country – open borders, health care managed by the government, indictment of President Trump and weakening of debt for our children and grandchildren, we simply can not allow that to happen. "
McCarthy ran unsuccessfully for the speaker in 2015 after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) retired, but had to withdraw from Freedom Caucus, with Jordan as the group's biggest player .
That decision paved the way for Paul Ryan to become a speaker. Ryan and McCarthy – two members of the "Young Guns", the name given to the conservative leaders emerging a decade earlier – have forged a close working relationship. McCarthy, however, clearly still wanted to talk one day.
With the announcement of Ryan's surprise retreat in April, McCarthy assumed the role of principal substitute for the Republican home campaign. He has raised tens of millions of dollars during hundreds of events for GOP candidates and historical operators across the country, a move that will bring him strong support in trying to become the best Republican in the House.
Jordan had previously indicated that he would be a candidate for a speaker or minority leader, and he doubled that promise on Wednesday. "I'm going to nominate myself to a minority leader," Jordan said in an interview at Hill.TV.
Jordan continued to list some promises of the unsatisfied GOP campaign that conservatives say contribute to the party's power loss Tuesday night: "In 2016, the American people elected Republicans to come here and change this city." I think the president is doing just that, but I do not think they see the same intensity as people in Congress, people in the House of Representatives. "
The match pits two of Trump's allies against each other. McCarthy, a pragmatist who recently renamed himself as a hard-liners immigrant, is close to Trump and talks to him almost daily. Trump, however, also plays the part of Jordan, a conservative and a television star who aggressively defends the president at every turn.
With the Democrats swearing to aggressively investigate Trump and the administration, allies of Jordan they claim that Trump needs an attack dog like him who fights against the White House against what could become a battle for impeachment.
But Jordan, 54, is deeply unpopular with some of his people Colleagues. His tactics without the exclusion of blows and the insistence on the ideological purity of the GOP have enticed the legislators who have tried to work among the different factions or through the corridor.
Jordan has also infuriated several members of the rank after declaring a few months in the elections for a speaker. These members felt that he should focus on helping his colleagues win re-election, although Jordan collected millions and donated to dozens of candidates in his bid to elect conservatives.
While the Freedom Caucus should be a larger portion of the House GOP next year, McCarthy needs only half the conference to be minority leaders and is expected to easily get those votes. McCarthy was privately legislators who locked up for weeks to support him to replace Ryan, but he had not yet become public with his intentions until Wednesday.
The Jordan camp may not agree with the legislators who feel they have lost the House in part because of a request for an Obamacare to abrogate the Conservative in 2017. Jordan in his Wednesday morning interview, he quoted the fact that the Republicans had not yet repealed Obamacare as a reason to raise it on top of the caucus.
But many House Republicans lost their seats Tuesday night because of their vote for the repeal measure. Then, the Freedom Caucus has insisted that the bill allows states to renounce the requirements that insurance companies charge the same way to healthy and sick people. The Democrats have seized this vote, accusing the Republicans of trying to obliterate protection for people with pre-existing conditions, the most popular element of Obamacare.
The Jordan final, however, may not really be a minority leader.
He has been trying for years to lead the House Supervisory Committee and has also taken into consideration the Republican position on the House Judiciary Committee, conservative sources have reported. Trying to deny McCarthy the votes for the minority leader, Jordan can leverage his position to get what he wants or empower other conservatives.
While Jordan is unlikely to beat McCarthy, the race for the GOP Conference chair has overheated on Wednesday morning. Wyoming's representative Liz Cheney, former daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, is challenging representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers for the position. The Republican of the state of Washington has been doing the job for years. And while many Republicans privately argued to challenge it, few did so for the sole purpose of hiring the one woman in a men-dominated GOP chaos.
Cheney does not have this problem. The battle should be fierce, with some members calling for a change on top of the leadership and Cheney, a defense hawk, who promises to communicate the GOP's results to the public more effectively – the key role of position no. 3.
Still, McMorris Rodgers has his allies. And it is unclear whether Cheney's challenge can fuel any negative reaction in the event that members react angrily to his challenge.
If Cheney is worried about this, he did not show it. In a letter sent to the GOP colleagues on Wednesday morning, Cheney suggested that Tuesday's Democratic takeover was proof that "our message is not escaping" – and specifically confessed to McMorris Rodgers. He said that the 115th Congress was one of the "most productive in history", considering the GOP tax cuts and a major boost to defense spending.
"Last night did not go as we hoped," he wrote. "To make sure that they prevail in this new environment, we need to substantially revise and modernize our GOP House communication operations, we need to be able to drive our message across platforms, we have to have daily news cycles."
The outgoing president of the Republican study committee Mark Walker, meanwhile, has begun to lay the groundwork for the success of representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.) As vice president of the conference. The Republican of North Carolina, who has just won a third term, has served as a bridge between the leadership of the GOP and the conservatives in the Chamber, taking a stand when it deems necessary, but also working with both to get legislation passed.
Walker also discussed the need for more effective communication from the Republicans of the House. Currently it is running without opposition.
"In the minority, Republicans must improve their rapid response efforts and learn to fight in unknown territories," Walker said in a statement to POLITICIAN. "We must be inexorable in bringing our message to the voters, especially to the new public and to the new generations".