McCarthy passes 1st House speaker test, but hurdles remain

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has cleared the first major step toward becoming House speaker. The California Republican won the nomination Tuesday from his GOP colleagues in a secret ballot election. But it’s just the start. Republicans are on the cusp of House control and McCarthy will face a formal vote when the new Congress convenes in January. McCarthy will need to shore up support from no fewer than 218 lawmakers with potentially just a few votes to spare. He is backed by Donald Trump, but that’s no guarantee after many Republicans blame the former president for disappointing midterm election results.