(LibertySons.org) – Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) faced a challenging start as the new Speaker of the House in early January. The GOP captured a slender majority in the House, and McCarthy faced 15 rounds of votes, a recent record, to convince his party and the Freedom Caucus to back his nomination as Speaker. Still, the tenacious politician has hung on and begun to turn the tide. A recent poll indicated McCarthy’s career just hit a new high as he battles with the Biden administration regarding the debt ceiling and Republican demands for budget concessions.
A poll conducted for The Economist by YouGov from May 13 through 16, canvassing 1500 US adults, found that McCarthy’s favorability increased by 11 points over a similar January 21 through 24 survey. Perhaps more importantly, in the January poll, McCarthy had a relatively high 42% unfavorability rating because of the uncertainty surrounding him, bringing his net favorability to a negative 13%. In addition to improving his favorability in May, McCarthy has decreased his unfavorability rating by 6 points, yielding him a net favorability of 4%.
SPEAKER SURGE | McCARTHY POPULARITY UP SINCE GRABBING THE GAVEL https://t.co/cX9a0JEDxn
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) May 19, 2023
Still, McCarthy is facing his greatest hurdle to date within his party with the debt ceiling negotiations. The Biden administration and the more moderate factions within his own party are pushing hard for a deal before the June 1 deadline. President Joe Biden had wanted a “clean” debt ceiling bill free from conditions. However, the far-Right Freedom Caucus has made it clear that they’ve tied their continued support for McCarthy as Speaker to his ability to push through specific conditions based on the Limit, Save, Grow Act passed by the House.
Republicans hope to negotiate the recapture of unspent pandemic funds back into the federal budget, add work requirements to various social assistance programs, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and certain aspects of the Medicaid program. Lawmakers also hope to expand permitting for domestic energy production capabilities.
Some Freedom Caucus members have insisted negotiations on the debt ceiling cease until the Senate passes the Limit, Save, Grow Act and the president signs it into law. President Biden has promised to veto the legislation should it reach his desk.
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