Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s political machine spent millions supporting GOP candidates who won their elections and arrived at Capitol Hill only to oppose his bid for speaker.
McCarthy has failed to surpass the 218-vote threshold in four separate roll calls this week. Twenty Republican lawmakers are responsible for the stalemate, and most of them received cash from one of McCarthy’s PACs during the midterm campaign, Politico reported.
McCarthy’s Congressional Leadership Funding threw in a total of $120,000 toward the campaigns of Reps. Dan Bishop ,R-NC,: Michael Cloud R-Texas,: Andrew Clyde, R-Ga,; Byron Donalds ,R-Fla.,; Bob Good, R-Va.; Andy Harris, R-Md.; Ralph Norman, R-S.C.; Scott Perry R-Pa.; and Matt Rosendale ,R-Mont.; along with incoming freshmen Anna Paulina Luna R-Fla.; Josh Brecheen, R-Okla.; Andy Ogles, R-Tenn.; Eli Crane R-Ariz.,and Keith Self R-Texas.
The CFL also reportedly spent $900,000 on campaign ads supporting Crane in Arizona.
Nineteen Republicans opposed McCarthy in the first two rounds of voting on Monday. Donalds joined the dissenters on the third vote, however, and the total reached 21 when Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., flipped away from McCarthy on the fourth vote.
McCarthy’s battle for speaker entered its third day Thursday as the House of Representatives remains without rules and unable to pass legislation.
The California Republican has offered extensive concessions to his opponents, including allowing any five House members in the majority party to initiate a vote to remove the current speaker. Opponents like Gaetz argue that any lone representative of the majority party should be able to force such a vote, as was House policy until former Speaker Nancy Pelosi changed the rule under her leadership.
McCarthy has held a slew of meetings and calls with his critics, focusing in particular on Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, who has described the talks as “productive.”
McCarthy and many of his allies have said they will continue voting for as long as it takes to secure a win.