McCarthy Concedes On Key Rule Change In Bid To Secure Votes For Speakership

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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California GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy made a key concession to gain the support needed from undecided Republicans to become the next House Speaker.

McCarthy agreed to make it easier for rank-and-file members to cast a vote-of-no-confidence against the sitting Speaker in a conference call with members Sunday, Politico reported.

The details of the change to the no-confidence voting process, known as the motion to vacate the chair, are not entirely clear, as McCarthy and his allies are still determining how many members will be needed to force a no confidence vote, Politico added.

Other rule changes House Republicans are pushing for include longer times for members to read bills, single subject bills, GOP leadership staying out of primaries and limitations on spending.

McCarthy previously labeled strengthening the motion to vacate the chair a non-starter in negotiations with GOP holdouts. The motion to vacate the chair was used in 2015 by then-Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina against former GOP House Speaker John Boehner, who was ousted soon after.

A group of five House Republicans are publicly opposed to McCarthy including Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, Virginia Rep. Bob Good, South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman, Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale and Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Matt Gaetz Says Most Republicans Who Support McCarthy ‘Benefit’ From Special Interest Money)

A separate group of nine undecided House Republicans released a letter Sunday saying “[d]espite some progress achieved, Mr. McCarthy’s statement comes almost impossibly late to address continued deficiencies ahead of the opening of the 118th Congress on January 3rd,” Politico reported.

It remains unclear whether McCarthy will be able to secure the votes necessary to be elected Speaker Jan. 3.