Show an ad over header. AMP

Kevin McCarthy is under siege, raising doubts about his plans to become House speaker

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is under siege, raising challenges to his best-laid plans for becoming House speaker.

Why it matters: The California Republican had been ready to vault out of the minority at the 2022 midterms. But now he finds his fundraising challenged, his links to President Trump toxic and a tricky impeachment environment to navigate.


The big picture: While some in the House Republican caucus broke ranks with Trump following his incitement of last week's assault, that's no easy feat for McCarthy.

  • He, more than any other Republican leader, has personally tied himself to Donald Trump during the past four years.
  • A huge part of his success as House minority leader has been because Trump — who has dotingly referred to him as “my Kevin” — and his base have had his back.

McCarthy also faces challenges in his role as the rainmaker for House Republicans.

  • Big corporations and trade associations like Marriott and Blue Cross Blue Shield are abandoning the GOP after Republicans rejected the election results.
  • Facebook, BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase have halted all political spending.

What we’re hearing: McCarthy and his team are worried because the sprint to the midterms begins now. Nonetheless, they think they have enough time to reset their image and get the party and its funding streams back on track.

  • His goal is to work on uniting the separate factions and reframe the narrative. Corporations operate on the “show-me, not tell-me” policy, one aide said, and McCarthy can restore the money spigot with results.

What they’re saying: “Leader McCarthy’s team has spoken to a vast number of businesses over the last 24 hours to take their temperature. Most of the businesses have assured that they have no plans to back away from the party and its free-enterprise principles,” a McCarthy aide told Axios.

Between the lines: There's a lot of internal angst in the party. How McCarthy navigates this post-Trump world — and bridges the intra-party divide — will be crucial to his viability.

  • A first test was a conference call McCarthy held with his members this afternoon.
  • A second comes later this week when the House votes on impeachment. Republican leadership expects their conference to be split.

Be smart: While top Republicans say McCarthy doesn't face internal pressure, potential challengers like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) are circling.

  • Her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, has a vast fundraising network and still holds sway with establishment Republicans.

Gina Haspel almost resigned over plan to install Trump loyalist Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel almost resigned in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelations stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency.

Keep reading... Show less

NRA files for bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for voluntary bankruptcy as part of a restructuring plan.

Driving the news: The gun rights group said it would reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment." Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" COVID vaccine distribution

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

Keep reading... Show less

Washington can expect a "new normal" — even after Biden's inauguration

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

Keep reading... Show less

Outgoing VP Pence calls Vice President-elect Harris to offer congratulations, help

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.

Keep reading... Show less

CDC: Highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March

New variants of the coronavirus circulating globally appear to increase transmission and are being closely monitored by scientists.

Driving the news: The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 originally detected in the U.K. could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March if no measures are taken to control the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Keep reading... Show less

Abbas announces first Palestinian elections in 15 years

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas published a decree on Friday announcing the dates for parliamentary and presidential elections in the Palestinian Authority.

Why it matters: This is the first time in 15 years that such a decree has been published. The last presidential elections took place in 2005, with Abbas winning, and the last parliamentary elections took place in 2006, with Hamas winning.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories