Freedom Caucus pushing McCarthy to back long-shot effort to remove Pelosi as House speaker

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are trying to convince House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to back an effort to remove Nancy Pelosi as the speaker of the chamber, an unrealistic long-shot effort happening less than seven weeks before Election Day.

McCarthy, R-Calif., on “The Ingraham Angle” Wednesday night said he is not interested in pursuing the move against the speaker, essentially dashing any hope the Freedom Caucus members — who occupy just about 40 of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives — would have had of gaining traction in their effort.

“What I’m in favor of is defeating Nancy Pelosi and [Jerry] Nadler and all the others,” McCarthy said as he made his pitch for Republicans deposing Pelosi, D-Calif., the old-fashioned way — by winning elections on Nov. 3. “If we were able to remove Nancy Pelosi you’d have another Democrat. The real challenge would be we’re … four weeks away from [the] election, or 40-some days. These Democrats could actually vote against Nancy Pelosi, use it in their campaigns to say they’re not with her, even though they vote with her 95% of the time.”


But if the vote is forced it could put moderate Democrats in the uncomfortable spot of backing the controversial Pelosi on the record or publicly spurning their caucus’ leader. The Freedom Caucus is known for its rabble-rousing antics in the House. Its members previously mounted an effort against former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, which was unsuccessful.

“I don’t think it’s the best move at this moment,” McCarthy continued. “I think the best move is win 218 seats and that defeats Nancy Pelosi.”

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., however, prodded Republican leadership to engage with the long-shot effort to remove Pelosi in a Wednesday night tweet.


“Isn’t it past time for Rep. Nancy Pelosi to leave her office as Speaker of the House?” he said. “I call upon our leaders in Congress to put forward the Motion to Vacate the Chair that has been prepared and merely needs to be brought to the floor.”

Biggs linked to a Sept. 7 Fox News op-ed in which he made the case for removing Pelosi — though the op-ed does not acknowledge the nearly nonexistent chance of success such a motion would have. Every Republican could vote for it, as well as double-digit Democrats in a campaign stunt that McCarthy says could help them in moderate districts, and Pelosi would still hold onto the speaker’s gavel.

“Pelosi recently referred to members of Congress who support President Donald Trump as ‘domestic criminals,'” Biggs wrote. “The left hates President Trump and the Americans who voted for him. In and of itself, it is a most despicable statement designed to divide the nation, but it shows a disregard for the institution itself.”

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House Suburban Caucus advances congressional pandemic response

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the everyday lives of many Americans. People have lost jobs, families have lost school and daycare options, and cities are grappling with health and safety protocols and an impacted economy. As our world starkly changes around us, our response to the challenges we face must evolve as well.

To help shape our nation’s response, today the House Suburban Caucus is endorsing a legislative agenda designed to address many common issues facing our constituents. The pandemic has forced us to reevaluate work-life balance and adapt to new realities, and we believe it is our responsibility to step up and offer solutions. The legislation we are endorsing targets issues that suburban families are grappling with, including health care, education and childcare.

To avoid possible exposure to the coronavirus, many have made the choice to stay away from doctors’ offices for all but the most serious concerns, an understandable fear that has unfortunately led to otherwise avoidable health complications. Congress has acted to improve telehealth options, and the Suburban Caucus is endorsing legislation that would expand and make permanent telehealth services to ensure people have access to the care they need, including mental health services. Last month, Rep. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerDCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to ‘Red to Blue’ program Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates The Hill’s Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war MORE, chair of the House Suburban Caucus, introduced a telehealth package made up of nine separate pieces of legislation written by Republican members committed to prioritizing health care access and affordability as part of our promise to build a better health care system for Americans.

The legislation would make telehealth more affordable for those on high-deductible health plans, expand telehealth for veterans, address restrictions that deter health care providers from providing telehealth services, and permanently waive the originating site and geographical restrictions affecting our seniors on Medicare, among other provisions. Telehealth is a new frontier of medicine that will give families and patients the ability to choose how to get health care on their own terms, not terms dictated by bureaucratic restrictions. The Suburban Caucus is also proud to champion legislation that would provide health insurance premium assistance to workers who are unemployed. No one should lose their insurance or be forced to pay increased premiums because they lost their jobs during a pandemic. Suburban Republicans are committed to crafting and implementing initiatives that help Americans struggling with health care affordability so that everyone has the coverage they need.

Our educational system has also been shaken by the spread of the virus, and many schools have already announced they will be moving to online or hybrid learning until a later date. Parents are concerned about the efficacy of remote learning, the potential effects of too much screen time, the challenge of balancing work schedules while

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