Only two weeks ago, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pressed Republicans to stop beating on each other after 13 moderate GOP lawmakers were marked as traitors by some of their Conservative colleagues over their votes for the bipartisan infrastructure bill championed by President Biden.
McCarthy, the odds-on favorite to be the next Speaker if the GOP does win back the House next year, announced that his conference should rather focus on their opposition to Democrats’ social spending and climate package.
Weeks later, Conservative and Ultraconservative lawmakers are again making headlines with schoolyard insults on Twitter.
The GOP drama on Tuesday was the nasty Twitter fight between Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), with Greene naming the swing-district lawmaker “trash” for denouncing Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.). Mace fired back by using emojis to mark Greene as “batshit crazy.”
The battle between the two centered on Boebert, who herself was named “TRASH” days earlier by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the anti-Trump Republican from Illinois who has increasingly taken on the most far-Right of his party. He was denouncing Boebert for invoking Islamophobic tropes by hinting Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) could be a terrorist.
If McCarthy does become Speaker, the infighting offers a preview of only how hard his job could be — and of the difficulty a divided House GOP might have in governing. The more narrow the margin, the harder McCarthy’s job likely would be.
McCarthy tends to prefer attempting to smooth over difficulties within his conference behind the scenes; he doesn’t like publicly denouncing fellow GOP lawmakers, which risks alienating them as well as their allies.
The next Speaker will be chosen in part by an internal conference vote by whichever party wins the majority.
Amidst theTwitter back-and-forth with Greene, Mace announced that she talked with McCarthy on Tuesday and discussed “solving problems not only in the conference, but for our country.”
McCarthy has had several one-on-one calls.
He phoned Boebert last week after a video revealed her recalling her reaction upon seeing Omar while boarding a Capitol elevator: “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.” Boebert went on: “Oh, look, the ‘jihad squad’ decided to show up for work today.”
Earlier this month, McCarthy spoke with Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) regarding an edited anime video sent out by his Twitter account that showed Gosar killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
And in an effort to further settle the Boebert controversy, McCarthy called House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for help in coordinating a direct conversation between Boebert and Omar, although the second-ranking Democrat announced Tuesday that he warned McCarthy that he didn’t think it would be “productive.”