House Republican leader appeals for unity to ensure his control of the chamber

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The leader of the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy. – CLIFF OWEN / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, has called for unity among his party colleagues in the nomination of the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, given the possibility that their disagreements could make it easier for the Democrats to choose Nancy Pelosi’s successor.

McCarthy, the leading candidate to command the House of Representatives, has turned to his skeptics to ask them to «speak as one voice.» «We will only succeed if we work together, or we will lose individually,» he has said.

«And if we don’t get this right, the Democrats can get the majority. If we play games on the floor, the Democrats may end up picking who the speaker (of the House) is,» McCarthy has warned.

Although McCarthy prevailed over Andy Biggs — representing the more conservative wing of the Republican Party — in the balloting for candidate for Speaker of the U.S. lower house, he now faces the possibility of falling short of a majority in the vote to be held in early January.

In recent weeks, some party colleagues have hinted that they might not support McCarthy. The Republican Party has a majority on the floor, although only a few representatives — fewer than six — could afford not to support the nominee.

For the moment there are already five Republican representatives who have announced that they will not support McCarthy’s candidacy, although Biggs himself has insisted that the number of those dissatisfied with the current leader of the party in the House of Representatives could be higher than 20.

This would leave the door open for the Democratic Party to elect, foreseeably, New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries as Pelosi’s successor as head of the legislative body and ‘number three’ in the line of succession to power in the United States.

«I think, at the end of the day, cooler heads will prevail. We will work together to find the best way forward,» McCarthy said, according to the U.S. news portal The Hill.

The recent mid-term elections left a complicated panorama for the future of the U.S. legislature with a Democratic Party with a majority in the Senate and a Republican Party that has taken control of the House of Representatives by a slim majority.