After House speaker hopeful Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) vowed to remove Adam Schiff (D-CA) from the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff struck back by declaring McCarthy subservient to the “QANON caucus.”
“McCarthy’s problem is: he can’t get to 218 without Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar and Matt Gaetz, and so he will do whatever they ask,” Schiff told Dana Bash on CNN’s State of the Union.
That includes not just removing him from his committee, but also giving MTG back her assignments and possibly pursuing QANON-inspired avenues of inquiry.
McCarthy “has no ideology,” Schiff said, and so he’ll do “whatever he needs to do to get the votes of the QANON caucus within his conference.”
Kevin McCarthy has no ideology, no core set of beliefs.
He knows he can't become Speaker without support from the QAnon contingent of his members.
So he will do whatever they ask, and remove me from the Intel Committee for holding Trump accountable.
He stands for nothing.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 28, 2022
In order to acquire the speakership, McCarthy will have to either get 218 votes on January 3 – a majority of the full House – or convince enough people to abstain to lower the threshold.
There are plenty of indications that McCarthy is struggling to get there and that he’ll likely have to make some pacts with the proverbial devil.
For starters, McCarthy only received 188 votes when his party cast ballots for the nomination. Another 31 reps voted for Andy Biggs (R-AZ), who has stated affirmatively that he will never support McCarthy.
I've seen enough.
I cannot vote for Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker.
I do not believe he will ever get to 218 votes, and I refuse to assist him in his effort to get those votes.https://t.co/lyImFCOHgI
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) November 18, 2022
Other Republicans in the House have also made it clear that they will support other candidates, including Gaetz, Bob Good of Virginia, and Ralph Norman of South Carolina. And a number of others have expressed either doubts or ambivalence about McCarthy’s leadership.
Five Republicans have already said they’ll vote against Kevin McCarthy for Speaker.
Kevin McCarthy can’t afford to lose more than four votes.
This is beautiful.
— Santiago Mayer (@santiagomayer_) November 22, 2022
There’s also the Trump factor: McCarthy has been a reliable adherent to Trump, even as others in the party have moved away from the former president.
Schiff had much to say about this as well, lambasting McCarthy and future GOP leaders in the House Jim Jordan and James Comer, saying that they’ll “do nothing but carry Donald Trump’s water.”
“[They] will do and they will say what they need to get along with Donald Trump,” Schiff predicted.
And an opportunist without any moral convictions would certainly represent a danger to us all.
Trump’s bagman Kevin probably doesn’t like Ross much. But you can show Ross some love on Twitter! (And he needs it.) @RossRosenfeld