Fifteen rounds of voting were needed to confirm the replacement of Nancy Pelosi as president of the House of Representatives last January. Now, the task seems even more complicated after the vote, a chimera between clearly opposing conservative factions. The historic dismissal of Kevin McCarthy as president of the Lower House after a motion of censure opens the question of who can fill his vacancy. No one, at the moment, has emerged as a clear and prominent figure, with several sources ensuring that McCarthy’s re-election is no longer an option following his refusal to run again.
Tim Burchett, congressman from Tennessee and one of Gaetz’s allies, seemed to have it clear. “There are multitudes of people who can step up and do the job,” he said Tuesday without giving a name, the complete opposite of Kelly Amstrong, Republican from North Dakota, convinced hours before that more than 200 Republicans would vote again for McCarthy to continue. “Has anyone else said they want that job?” she wondered.
Eli Crane, representative for Arizona, did not have anyone in mind either, focused first on removing McCarthy from office and then on the task of finding his replacement. “I don’t like to buy the carriage before the horse,” he said, giving the impression that behind the rebellion there is no precise strategy to resolve the mess they have caused.
The only one who at the moment seems to have it somewhat clearer is the strategist behind the coup against McCarthy, Matt Gaetz. The congressman has leaned towards Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, the number two of the House of Representatives, conditioned by the leukemia he suffers from. “I’m not going to skip Steve Scalise just because he has blood cancer,” he said Monday night, certain he had the votes to unseat McCarthy, as he ultimately did.
He also mentioned the Number Three of the list, Tom Emmer, of Minnesota, with a reputation as a mediator within his party. Gaetz highlighted the fact that he does not lie to them, something of which he has accused the former president of the Lower House of on several occasions.