RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The 118th Congress includes seven North Carolina Republicans. Six of them are standing by Rep. Kevin McCarthy and voted for him to become the next Speaker of the House. One did not.
GOP Congressman Dan Bishop, whose district includes Davidson and Stanley counties, explained his vote against McCarthy in a tweet saying in part “Kevin McCarthy is not the right candidate to be Speaker. He has perpetuated the Washington status quo that makes this body one of the most unsuccessful and unpopular institutions in the country.”
“I think it’s a problem for McCarthy and also I think it is a prelude to a dysfunctional House down the road,” said David Schanzer, professor of the practice at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy.
With Republicans holding such a narrow majority in the US House, Schanzer worries the fight over Speaker is just the beginning.
“With such a slim margin, they can’t afford to lose more than four votes, I mean you need 218 everyday in the house and they can’t get 218 on what should be the easiest thing which is to pick their leader. So that foretells a very chaotic situation down the road,” said Schanzer.
That has the potential to impact every American.
With the US Senate and White House controlled by Democrats, both parties will have to find a way to work together to keep the country running. But Republicans also have to find a way to work with each other.
That includes a group of fewer than 20 people who hold a tremendous amount of sway. After all, the vast majority of house Republicans want McCarthy to be speaker, but the 19 voting against McCarthy can stop his effort to be Speaker.
Schanzer said, “When we get into this type of situation with really small margins and then a party that is just so un-cohesive and unable to agree on even the most basic things — like the rules in which they’re going to be governed by who the leader is — that makes me very worried that our system won’t be able to function as we need it to.”
“This small group would have a lot of power to shape what can and cannot come to the floor of the house which would possibly lead to these very dramatic either government shutdowns and even worse a possible default on the US debt which has never happened in our history and that’s what I’m worried about,” Schanzer added.