Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s remarks that House Republicans created a taxpayer-funded Benghazi committee to help tank Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers have handed ammunition to GOP critics trying to draft a conservative to challenge him for Speaker. The California Republican is still the odds-on favorite to replace Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who will resign from Congress Oct. 30. McCarthy is believed to have locked up the 124 GOP votes needed to be nominated for the top job during a closed-door GOP conference election set for next Thursday. But the rapidly rising lawmaker is as many as 50 GOP votes shy of the 218 he needs to formally win the Speaker’s gavel in a roll call on the House floor next month, according to GOP sources who have been whipping McCarthy’s “no” votes.

Source: McCarthy’s GOP critics see opening after Benghazi blunder | TheHill