Republican Caucus call ends up being another debate with Matt Gaetz — but this time McCarthy gave in
Kevin McCarthy (Photo by Stefani Reynolds for AFP)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) path to the Speaker of the House continues to be a difficult one as a call with the Republican Caucus ended with huge concessions and more debates with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Politico reporter Olivia Beavers wrote that a GOP source told her that they would only agree to a rules change that would make it easier to topple the Speaker of the House.

Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) reportedly asked Gaetz if Republicans lowered the threshold for the motion to vacate if he would ultimately support McCarthy for Speaker. Gaetz then replied that McCarthy wouldn't agree to it. McCarthy then argued that it's the conference wouldn't find it acceptable.

As Politico's Alex Burns explained, "Lawler is emblematic of the members — center-right folks from Biden-supporting districts — who would be most at risk in a scenario where a weakened McCarthy wound up as Speaker, with Gaetz and similar massively empowered to fire him at any time."

He's one of several in Biden districts who has expressed concern over the House GOP being taken over by the far-right.

McCarthy then asked what Gaetz would say to something like that as a deal. Gaetz told the members that he'd think about it.

Beavers explained "there is a huge concern that McCarthy is giving away too much without [the] promise of votes in return. Told call was mostly McCarthy allies talking."

Punchbowl's Jake Sherman explained that if McCarthy agrees to lower the threshold from five to one "it would mean one lawmaker who is angry at him can trigger a non-confidence vote. There are ways to delay the vote --[John] Boehner did when [Mark] Meadows filed his -- but it has to come up eventually."

He also argued that five members is better than one, but he argues that because of the size of the House, one member can usually find five more to join them in a protest.

At the same time, the narrow majority means that very little will actually get done in the House. He was already side-lined during budget negotiations.