A trio of Texas GOP congressmen played a key role in preventing Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, from becoming Speaker of the US House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Republicans Chip Roy, R. Austin, Michael Cloud, R. Victoria, and Kate Self, R. McKinney were among 20 GOP hardliners who stuck to the line and voted against McCarthy despite negotiations over rule changes and committee appointments.
The opposition has left the lower house without a top leader until at least Wednesday, when lawmakers meet again to vote.
Even before Tuesday, it was clear that the McCarthys did not get the 218 votes needed to become Speaker after the first ballot. But Self’s vote came as a surprise as he did not make his position public.
“I’m looking for a man or woman who will be strong and enforce the rules from above, from the top,” the congressman-elect told The Texas Newsroom Tuesday night.
Instead, I voted for Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. Jordan himself supports McCarthy.
Self-admitted to McCarthy’s concession, including the reinstatement of the Cut-As-You-Go or CUTGO rule. This rule requires that any mandatory increase in spending must be accompanied by a reduction.
But Self said even that concession seemed to be made to appease conservatives like him, not to actually improve the legislative process.
“Compulsory spending is all the most important spending in the minds of voters and it’s very hard to see how anyone can enforce it,” Self said. “So I’m not sure it’s even a reasonable rule.
Most of the members of Congress who voted against McCarthy are members of the Freedom House Caucus, an ultra-conservative group of lawmakers. McCarthy made other concessions to get enough votes from them to become Speaker. He agreed to allow any five Republican MPs to initiate a vote of no confidence in the speaker. It is reported by Fox News on Monday.. He also promised to stop remote voting.
Speaking from the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon, Roy said the vote was about “the future of the country.”
He surprised his colleagues when he voted for Rep. Byron Donalds, Florida Speaker once and Rep. Jordan twice.
Roy said he wants members to be able to propose amendments to legislation from the floor of the House of Representatives.
“The point is, this place has to change,” Roy said. “That has to change, and that change is either coming through the adoption of rules and procedures that will make us really do our job, or comes from management.”
Tuesday’s vote showed one of the biggest divisions within the Republican Party and within the Texas GOP delegation.
Speaking to reportersRep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, slammed GOP members who voted against McCarthy.
“We won’t vote for anyone other than McCarthy – these people think they’re stubborn, we’re even more stubborn,” Crenshaw said. Now they are enemies.
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