Kevin McCarthy will make moderates 'walk the plank' to avoid 'massive embarrassment': report
Kevin McCarthy (Photo by Oilier Douliery for AFP)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is about to face his first major challenge, since it took fifteen ballots to get elected to his current leadership position, as he tries to come up with a budget package that looks like it will be unpopular with moderates in his caucus.

According to a report from the Politico Playbook, because he has a slim 5-seat majority, the California Republican's best bet is to get members of the moderate wing to go along with some cuts to popular programs in their districts that could, in turn, impact their re-election chances in 2024.

As Politico reports, "Balancing the budget in 10 years is difficult enough, with a $16 trillion gap to fill. But McCarthy’s decision to rule out cuts to Social Security and Medicare, the largest federal programs, and possibly defense spending makes the task virtually impossible," before adding that his slim GOP majority may force his hand but he needs to avoid an embarrassing early defeat to his leadership.

Pointing to McCarthy's dilemma, a senior member of the GOP leadership admitted, “Moderates will be forced to walk the plank.”

The alternative, writes Politico, is for McCarthy to suffer a "massive embarrassment" by not passing a budget at all.

This follows a report from the Daily Beast that explained, "McCarthy’s difficulties are just beginning," before adding, "Whether Republicans adopt a budget of their own is an open question—as is how McCarthy could possibly write a budget appeasing all corners of his conference when there are so many contradictory goals."

Politico is reporting that the White House is prepared to pounce on whatever McCarthy can cobble together, with a memo that suggests, "Killing newly-created American manufacturing jobs just so the super wealthy and big corporations can enjoy tax welfare would be a gut-punch to America’s competitiveness and to thousands of working families in red states.

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