House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is using the ongoing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump to settle a variety of political scores.
In recent months, McCarthy has criticized former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), has sought retribution against colleagues who accused him of making inappropriate comments, and is facing off with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over the impeachment process.
Most notably, McCarthy has been critical of Ryan. In December, McCarthy made a statement accusing the former House Speaker of being too lax in his approach to impeachment. McCarthy was critical of Ryan’s strategy of leaving the decision of impeachment up to the House Judiciary Committee instead of forcing a floor vote. McCarthy has also supported a select committee to investigate the Ukraine scandal, something Ryan had opposed.
McCarthy has also sought retribution against his colleagues who have crossed him, particularly those who have accused him of making inappropriate remarks. In September, Republican Rep. Peter King of New York said he heard McCarthy make sexist comments about Pelosi and House Assistant Minority Leader Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) at a Republican retreat in West Virginia. Since then, McCarthy has sought revenge against both King and Rice by withholding support for their political and legislative initiatives.
Finally, McCarthy is sparring with Pelosi over the impeachment process. McCarthy wants her to hold a floor vote on the impeachment inquiry and has accused her of manipulating the process. Pelosi has denied this, saying that McCarthy is simply seeking political gain from the impeachment proceedings against the President.
Overall, McCarthy has used the impeachment proceedings to attempt to score political points against his opponents and strengthen his own power within the Republican Party.