The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Post Politics Now Republicans engage in full-scale brawl after disappointing midterm elections

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) talks with reporters as he walks to a closed-door Republican leadership meeting for a vote on top House Republican leadership positions, on Capitol Hill on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Today, Republicans engaged in a full-scale brawl as the party grappled with its failure to win the Senate majority and the likelihood of a narrow edge in the House despite GOP predictions of significant gains in President Biden’s first midterm elections. The fallout from the disappointing performance was evident in the Senate as Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Tuesday announced a challenge to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has led the party since 2007. While McConnell dismissed the challenge, insisting he has the votes, Scott received his first public endorsement in the race from Indiana Sen. Mike Braun (R).

In the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was nominated by fellow Republicans to be speaker in the next Congress, surviving a challenge from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on a 188-to-31 vote. The real test will be in January, when McCarthy must win a majority vote of the full House — 218 votes — which could require offering concessions to disaffected Republicans.