As the election for the next House speaker takes place, Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, agreed to a rule change that will allow him to secure the support of conservative members.
According to the Daily Caller, McCarthy agreed to make it easier for House members to bring up a no-confidence vote against a sitting speaker. Previously, this procedure had only been used by members of the leadership team. The rule change will allow any member of the House to call for a vote of no-confidence.
Although the exact details of the rule change have not been finalized, it will allow members of the House to call for the vote of no-confidence at any time. McCarthy is currently working with conservative members to determine the number of regular members who will be required to participate in the vote. In 2015, the House conservatives forced John Boehner to resign from his position as speaker.
In his bid for the speakership, McCarthy has proposed various rule changes. One of these would restrict the involvement of the House leadership in primaries. Another would require members to spend more time reading bills.
Since the Republicans will only have a total of 222 seats after the election, McCarthy will need the support of at least four more House members to secure the majority. However, five conservative members have already publicly stated that they will not support McCarthy. These include congressmen Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, and Matt Rosendale of Montana.
Andy Biggs, who used to be the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, is currently planning on challenging McCarthy in the floor vote. In November, he lost the GOP conference's closed-door vote to choose a candidate for speaker.
Several other Republican members of the House also criticized McCarthy's statement, saying that despite the progress that has been made, he still has a long way to go in addressing the issues that members have raised.
A candidate for the speakership must secure a majority of the votes cast by members of the House. If no candidate receives a majority, the election will go to a second ballot. The winner will then be chosen through a series of ballots. The last time a speaker's race had multiple ballots was in 1923, when Frederick Gillett was elected.