WASHINGTON. On Wednesday, as the second day of voting begins in the US House of Representatives to select a new speaker, a small but determined group of Republicans, including former Collin County Judge Keith Self and two other Texans, showed their determination to turn against the party leader. Kevin McCarthy in the fight for what they call critical rules and leadership change.
Texans are in a position to help determine the outcome of this week’s struggle as they represent more than one-tenth of the Republican House of Representatives conference. For now, the delegation is providing important support to McCarthy, given that all but three voted for him on Tuesday.
The House is in session again for its fourth ballot on Wednesday, here’s a look at the Texans involved in the floor brawl and what they stand for.
Rep.-elect Plano Self is one of three Texas Republicans who have yet to vote for McCarthy, choosing instead to support Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan on all three ballots on Tuesday. Self, a freshman still awaiting a speaker to be sworn in, remained silent in public before eventually turning against the GOP leader.
“I like the new rules. I’m looking for someone to enforce them,” Self said Tuesday after the House closed. – That’s what I’m working on.
Self, an army veteran from Plano, won his race in November to represent the predominantly Republican 3rd District outside of Dallas, which includes Collin County and most of Hunt County. He replaced former Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, who withdrew his bid for re-election in March after he apologized for an extramarital affair with a former jihadist dubbed “ISIS’ bride” by the tabloids.
In an interview last year with Dallas morning news Self said that if elected, he would have three main priorities upon taking office: electoral integrity, border security, and reducing mandates for masks and vaccines.
Rep. Chip Roy, an Austin Republican, became a key leader in the resistance against McCarthy and said after the House closed he would continue to push for rules and leadership that would stop the swamp and solve institutional problems.
“The institution has to change, and that’s why we’re having a debate,” Roy said after the House’s third round of voting concluded.
On the first ballot, Roy voted for Rep. Byron Donalds, Florida, but then joined the majority of his fellow dissenters in supporting Jordan on the second and third ballots. Roy nominated Jordan as speaker before the third ballot, although Jordan himself continued to support McCarthy.
Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Victoria, like Self and Roy, rejected McCarthy in all three ballots on Tuesday, voting for Jordan each time. In a statement on Tuesday, he said he had been working for months to convince the House Republican conference to find a new path to financial accountability.
“There was some progress, but in the end, many of the promises made lacked enforcement mechanisms, which calls into question the sincerity of the reforms,” Cloud said.
the rest 22
The remaining 22 Republicans from Texas, elected to the House of Representatives in November, supported McCarthy in all three ballots on Tuesday. At least some voiced their dissatisfaction with the dissenters, with Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Houston calling them “stupid”. He said the quarrel made the party look stupid.
“There’s a lot of animosity building up against these people who disagree, because it turns out that these people have no good reason to remain dissenting,” Crenshaw told reporters.
I voted for McCarthy because he won our primary with 85% of the vote, and I refuse to leave the House of Representatives under the control of a Pelosi-appointed clerk.
Any “Republican” who does otherwise is voting Democrat.
There is no other interpretation of today’s vote.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) January 3, 2023
Rep. Pat Fallon R-Sherman said McCarthy’s opponents couldn’t articulate what they wanted, especially after McCarthy made a number of concessions that dissenters pressed for, Fallon said.
“So what are we doing here?” he asked.
State Democrats constantly lined up for Rep. Hakim Jeffreys of New York, the first black to lead a major American political party.
“We are very united in terms of both our principles, our concerns, and what we want to do for Americans,” Rep. Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat, said of his party during the second vote. “The Republican Party is not active now.”
Washington correspondents Joseph Morton and Rebecca Alvey contributed to this report, which includes material from the Dallas Morning News archives.