(DailyVantage.com) – The 118th Congress made the election of a new House Speaker their first order of action, and it played out like a 2023 edition of the movie “Groundhog Day.” After 15 rounds of voting, across nearly five days, GOP representatives finally chose Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for the position. Throughout the battle, one name kept emerging: former President Donald Trump.
There’s no doubt that Trump was once the shining star of the Republican Party. While his popularity might have diminished slightly, if the reactions to his announcement to run for president again were of any indication, it’s clear he still wields considerable influence. In fact, he credits himself with McCarthy’s win.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 8, 2023
In a TRUTH Social post, Trump called out the “Fake News Media,” this time giving it credit. He said the reporting around his influence on McCarthy’s speakership was accurate, and he “did our country a big favor!”
The former president did more than just cheer on McCarthy. He placed phone calls to Republican holdouts, including Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL) and Andy Biggs (AZ), to persuade them to join the now-Speaker’s side. The pair, along with several other GOP members, seemed unconvinced McCarthy deserved the role.
Gaetz even nominated Trump for the leadership position at one time. The former president celebrated that nod by posting a photoshopped picture of himself clowning behind President Joe Biden during a State of the Union address. Following McCarthy’s win, the new Speaker also praised Trump and noted that his influence hadn’t waned. “He was with me from the beginning,” McCarthy told reporters, according to The Hill.
Even though he’s won the role, it’s unlikely to be smooth sailing for him. Several establishment Republicans aren’t necessarily happy with the concessions McCarthy might’ve made. A lack of transparency has some, including Representative Nancy Mace (SC), concerned.
Still, the upcoming session and the success of the Republican agenda will tell how his speakership plays out.
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