In three rounds of voting on Tuesday, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) failed to garner the 218 votes needed to secure the House speakership. House Democrats quickly united behind 2016 election denier Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) as leader of the Democrat minority, but McCarthy, who some GOP members see as a creature of “the swamp,” was unable to seal the deal.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), one of 20 congressmen opposing McCarthy’s reelection to the speakership, explained to Fox News why he was digging in to oppose the California Republican.
McCarthy, he said, “has a history of voting with Democrats and voting with the minority against the majority Republicans across the past decade.” Roy added that McCarthy has been in a GOP leadership position since 2009, and “during that time, the debt has gone from $11 trillion to $32 trillion.” The Texas congressman said he and his compatriots want to elect a leader who will be “a check against the swamp.”
He also revealed that Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) threatened to pull the holdouts from committee assignments if they continued to “challenge the coronation of the speaker.”
“The reality is, that was a threat, and it was not received well by a lot of people in the room,” Roy added. “Mike Rogers is emblematic of the problem. He is precisely why we end up with bills like the $1.7 trillion monstrosity that was destroying our freedom, funding bureaucrats, and actually having specific language in it not securing the border!” the congressman exclaimed.
Rep. Chip Roy UNLOADS on McCarthy, explains why he voted to IMPLODE his race for Speaker
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) January 3, 2023
The House can’t kick off the new Congress or swear in new members until a speaker is elected.
The Speaker vote went to a second ballot for the first time in 100 years after 19 Republicans voted against McCarthy: Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Dan Bishop N.C.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Josh Brecheen (Okla.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Brent Crane (Idaho), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Bob Good (Va.), Paul Gosar (Az.), Andy Harris (Maryland), Paulina Luna (Fla.), Mary Miller (Ill.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Brandon Ogles (Tenn.), Scott Perry (Calif.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), and Chip Roy (Texas).
Rep. Jim Jordan was nominated by Republicans for the second and third-round votes, even after he nominated McCarthy in an effort to show party unity.
Jordan argued that the differences among GOP lawmakers “pale in comparison” to the differences between Republicans and Democrats.
“We need to rally around him,” Jordan said of McCarthy. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.) also rallied behind McCarthy, saying the 19 naysayers were playing “Russian roulette” with the GOP’s “hard-earned” majority.
If the base only understood that 19 Republicans voting against McCarthy are playing Russian roulette with our hard earned Republican majority right now.
This is the worst thing that could possibly happen. https://t.co/ncY6GgGIM1
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) January 3, 2023
Rep. Matt Gaetz nominated Jordan in the second round where he earned 19 votes, and Rep. Chip Roy nominated Jordan for speaker in the third round.
Roy explained why he was doing it in an impassioned speech on the House floor.
“I want the tools or I want the leadership to stop the swamp from running over the average American every single day!” he exclaimed. “I don’t want any more empty promises.”
"I want the tools or I want the leadership to stop the swamp from running over the average American every single day"
"I don't want any more empty promises" pic.twitter.com/bUhSnq9B62
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) January 3, 2023
In the third round, one more Republican lawmaker, Byron Donalds of Florida joined the fray, bringing the anti-McCarthy contingent to 20.
The House adjourned until noon Wednesday after the third round of votes failed to elect a speaker.