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These 5 High-Profile Republicans May Stand in the Way of McCarthy's Ascension

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These Republicans could shut down Kevin McCarthy’s plans for the Speaker’s gavel.

Five Republicans have publicly expressed their lack of support for the GOP Caucus leader in the House of Representatives, complicating his plans to be elected Speaker of the House when the new Congress convenes in January.

Three of the Republicans — Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, and South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman — are “hard no” votes on McCarthy’s speakership, according to Fox News.

Gaetz went so far as to blame McCarthy in the aftermath of the Republican Party’s failure to secure a “red wave” in the November midterms, taking aim at GOP leadership broadly.

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Biggs even made a failed challenge to McCarthy in an internal GOP leadership election earlier this month.

Two other stragglers could prove the game-changing votes that McCarthy needs to become Speaker.

Rep. Bob Good of Virginia and Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana could ultimately get McCarthy over the line — in return for concessions relating to House rules. These Republicans haven’t ruled out supporting him in exchange for concessions, according to Fox.

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Rosendale called for power over House committees and legislation to be more evenly distributed in the chamber, rather than centralized with the Speaker.

“Each member of Congress has earned and deserves equal participation in the legislative process,” the Montana representative has said, according to Fox.

McCarthy is poised to govern with a paper-thin majority of 222 seats or less. FiveThirtyEight has called 221 seats for Republicans, with one race outstanding.

A House Majority requires 218 votes.

McCarthy’s Republican critics hail from the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

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Four are members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of Republican members of Congress who have warred with establishment-friendly party leadership for years.

In a nod to the slimness of the majority, McCarthy has already agreed to some legislative concessions in a bid to secure support within his caucus, according to Fox.

If elected Speaker, McCarthy will support new rules requiring that legislation goes through the traditional committee process before being brought up for a floor vote by the Speaker of the House.

The California Republican would stand to win the January Speaker’s election with the votes of Rosendale and Good, potentially rendering his other opponents powerless to stop him.

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