McCarthy allies scrambling after leadership fight eroded his power: report
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to the media following a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in November 2022. (

The leadership team of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is scrambling to control and whip Republican votes in the House, after a series of decisions and rule changes they made to appease the Republican base and secure McCarthy's Speakership votes to begin with have left them with diminished power and new logistical challenges, reported CNN on Friday.

"Their majority is narrow and divided sharply between the moderates – who hail from Biden-won districts and are the reason Republicans have the majority in the first place – and the hardliners who from the outset have asserted themselves as the ultimate deciders of McCarthy’s fate as speaker," reported Lauren Fox and Melanie Zanona. "That dynamic, combined with a lengthy list of concessions McCarthy made in his quest to secure the speaker’s gavel, could make it more difficult for the House GOP to pass even messaging bills – let alone essential and heavier lifts like raising the nation’s borrowing limit or politically dicey questions like whether to impeach President Joe Biden or a member of his Cabinet."

"Further complicating matters, McCarthy abolished the House’s remote voting system put in place during the pandemic, making the GOP’s razor-thin majority even more tenuous. Already, House Republicans are down one vote for the next few weeks with the absence of Rep. Greg Steube of Florida, who was recently injured after a fall," said the report. "'Our biggest challenge will be attendance,' House Majority Whip Tom Emmer told CNN in an interview. 'People staying healthy and staying on the field.'"

Proxy voting was adopted in the House during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic to allow members to conduct regular business remotely if that was required for health and safety. Republicans themselves used the procedure on numerous occasions; however GOP leaders like McCarthy opposed it on principle from the start and eliminated it when they took over — which is now making it harder for them to govern with a slim majority.

IN OTHER NEWS: Nevada Republicans tearing themselves apart after failed MAGA candidate's vulgar speech goes viral

One Republican raging about the lack of cohesion in the party is Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), who is particularly complaining about how McCarthy, as part of a promise with the Freedom Caucus, is fast-tracking the "FairTax" bill — a highly controversial measure to abolish the IRS and create a 30 percent national sales tax that even McCarthy himself doesn't support. “I called and said that’s BS,” Bacon said to CNN, about how the bill could skip the amendment process. “It’s gotta go through committee just like every other bill, and I think these bills will be improved.”

"It’s the kind of member management and careful tap dance that foreshadows the delicate balance ahead for GOP leadership," said the report.