On Thursday, Axios reported that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is already being hounded to make concessions to far-right members in exchange for their vote to make him Speaker in a Republican majority.
"McCarthy told CNN on Wednesday that he has the votes to become speaker," reported Andrew Solender. "But behind the scenes, conservatives are trying to squeeze McCarthy for major procedural concessions, including a rules change that could allow them to perpetually hold his speakership hostage."
Many of these demands are coming from members of the House Freedom Caucus, the extremist bloc that played an instrumental role in extracting concessions from former Speaker Paul Ryan when Republicans controlled the House under the first two years of the Trump administration.
"Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), coming out of a meeting of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus on Thursday, told Axios 'no one currently has 218' votes to become speaker in a vote of the full House," said the report. "Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), who is openly opposing McCarthy, told Axios he's 'confirmed with many people that ... there will be a challenge' to McCarthy at next week's GOP leadership elections."
McCarthy is in turn already elevating the power of the Freedom Caucus, the report noted: "McCarthy on Thursday elevated his most prominent supporter in the Freedom Caucus, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), by appointing him to his 118th Congress transition team."
Control of the House has not yet been formally called. Republicans are favorites to control the chamber when all House races are called, but due to an unexpectedly weak showing by Republicans, their majority may come down to just a few seats, if they win a majority at all