Kevin McCarthy Likely to Leave Congress

Axios (“GOP speculation mounts that McCarthy will exit Congress early“):

Multiple GOP lawmakers expect former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy  (R-Calif.) to step down from his seat before the end of the year, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The potential exit of McCarthy — who privately told donors he is looking to “get the hell out,” according to a source familiar with the conversation — could leave the House GOP with an even narrower majority.

  • “I have another week or so to decide because if I decide to run again, I have to know in my heart I’m giving 110%,” McCarthy said at The New York Times DealBook Summit  on Wednesday, referring to California’s Dec. 8 filing deadline.
  • “I have to know that I want to do that. I also have to know if I’m going to walk away, that I’m going to be fine with walking away. And so I’m really taking this time now,” he said.

Zoom in: Speculation over McCarthy’s potential departure escalated ahead of the Thanksgiving recess, with multiple GOP sources noting he posted a photo on Instagram  in which his district office appeared to be in the process of being packed.

  • Multiple Republicans raised concerns that California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom could hold McCarthy’s seat open if he decides to resign in the new year.
  • The GOP’s razor-thin majority is already on the verge of being diminished further by the potential expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) in a vote expected  on Friday.

The rest of the piece is basically about how McCarthy isn’t having much fun being a rank-and-file Member after having been Speaker. One imagines.

But the key is that, if he leaves and Santos is (finally!) expelled, the Republican margin will be down to two. Considering the inability of successive Speakers to manage the caucus as it is, that’s simply going to add to the headache. There’s really going to be no way to get things done without working with the Democrats.