McCarthy 'will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat' to become House speaker: analyst
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) -- (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may be the first leader to have an actual floor fight for his speaker vote in nearly 100 years, said Tara Palmeri, Puck News senior political reporter.

Speaking to MSNBC's Yasmin Vossoughian on Sunday, Palmeri explained that McCarthy had a few dozen, or so, members that didn't support him during the caucus vote. At the same time, he only has a very small majority. So he can't afford to lose even a hand full of votes.

"It seems like he's going to pull a rabbit out of a hat," said Palmeri. "He's got five members right now saying that they will not vote for him for speaker. They say that publicly. So, he's going to get them to publicly, reverse some of them have said. He can't lose five. He can lose four. He can't lose five. People can vote present or be absent, which can help him get to 218. But right now, he's got a very loud group of individuals from the House Freedom Caucus coming forward, saying that they won't support him. Every day, the number seems to grow. The momentum is going in the wrong direction for him."

McCarthy used to be a member of the House Freedom Caucus, which was the caucus formed by a group tea party members that won in 2010.

"All he can really do between now and Jan. 3rd is cut a deal with some of these members who may be movable," Palmeri continued. "I, for one, do not think that Andy Biggs — who tried to challenge his leadership in the conference — is someone that he can move. I don't think Matt Gaetz is someone that he can move. I don't think that Bob Good is someone that he can move. They have been pretty open about their disdain for Kevin McCarthy. Maybe it's possible that he can give them a job on the Rules Committee."

There are a number of members who don't want to vote for McCarthy regardless, however.

"When you -- stick your stick to the ground and you say he will not be my speaker. How are gonna get those people on the House floor saying his name?" she wondered. "It seems really hard. Of those five, maybe two of them are squishy. But this is the thing. We don't know about the others who haven't spoken up yet. Maybe they probably feel the same way. Right now, another contender has not emerged. That's a good thing for him. "

McCarthy and other GOP members have claimed that they intend to impeach President Joe Biden. McCarthy's only chip he's attempted to play is that he won't impeach Biden if he can get support from Democrats for his speakership. Many Democrats believe, however, that an overtly partisan impeachment of Biden could help him.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) got a promise from McCarthy that she would support him if he agreed to investigate the treatment of the Capitol rioters. The Washington, D.C. jail holding the rioters has been a major problem for violence and conditions for decades, TIME magazine reported in January, and WTOP reported last year. In a DCist report from 2019, the jail was called "unsafe and unsanitary. The problem extends beyond the Capitol rioters, so Greene will likely uncover that the Jan. 6 defendants are just as bad as the other inmates. The 2019 D.C. Auditor report revealed some of the most brutal details in their report, saying that a new facility was needed. It's unclear whether the Republican Congress will be willing to fund such a facility now that their supporters are housed there.

See the discussion below or the video here: