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Restive Republicans Complicate McCarthy’s Path to House Speaker

  • McCarthy takes some blame for not delivering sizable majority
  • Republicans on track for extremely narrow majority in House
Kevin McCarthy speaks during an election night watch party at the Westin Hotel in Washington, DC, on Nov. 9.

Kevin McCarthy speaks during an election night watch party at the Westin Hotel in Washington, DC, on Nov. 9.

Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
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The unexpectedly poor showing by Republicans in Tuesday’s midterm elections has complicated Kevin McCarthy’s plans to become speaker of the US House, with a restive conservative wing raising questions about whether he has the votes for the post should the GOP win a narrow majority.

“It takes 218 votes” to get elected speaker, said Representative Chip Roy, a Texas Republican and a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus. “There’s not a soul in this town right now that has 218 votes.”