Matt Gaetz Calls McCarthy A “Squatter” For Prematurely Moving Into Speaker’s Office
Update (2228ET): In a hilarious cap to today’s chaos surrounding the GOP House Speaker vote, anti-McCarthy Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida wrote to the Architect of the Capitol to ask how long McCarthy – who prematurely moved in to the Speaker’s office – would be able to occupy the room “before he is considered a squatter.”
Gaetz sent a letter to the Architect of the Capitol questioning why McCarthy is allowed to occupy the Speaker’s office. pic.twitter.com/gOlXOtlHQj— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) January 4, 2023
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Update (1836ET): The day ended without the election of a House Speaker, as support for Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) waned throughout the day.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), meanwhile, saw his stock rise with each of Tuesday’s three votes.
As The Epoch Times notes, in the first vote of a tumultuous first day of the 118th Congress, McCarthy, the California Republican who led the party to regain the majority in the November 2022 mid-term election, fell 15 votes short of the 218 he needed to become Speaker of the House.
McCarthy received 203 votes from Republican colleagues, while 212 Democrats voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who will serve as House Minority Leader in 2023. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz), the leader of the anti-McCarthy members, received 10 votes. A handful of Republicans voted for candidates who were not nominated.
Incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) cited Saint Paul’s admonition about “finishing the race” as he nominated House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for Speaker of the House.
In his floor speech, Jordan said the House must do three basic things in 2023, including getting the U.S. border with Mexico under control and restoring U.S. military strength, stopping profligate spending by Democrats, and conducting a comprehensive oversight effort of President Joe Biden’s administration.
“We have to do the Oversight and Investigations that needs to be done. This idea that bureaucrats who never put their name on the ballot but think they run the country, who assaulted our constituents’ First Amendment liberties. they need to be held accountable,” Jordan said.
“That has to happen, we need to do it. We need to do it in a way that’s consistent with the Constitution, but we need to do it vigorously and aggressively. That is part of our duty as members of this body,” Jordan continued.
Jordan’s nomination of McCarthy followed the California Republican’s failure to marshall a majority of the 434 Members of the Representatives assembled earlier in the day for the first vote on a new Speaker.
Jeffries was also nominated a second time. Then Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) nominated Jordan, despite the fact the Ohio Republican made clear he continued to support McCarthy. Then the second ballot roll call was called.
All of the 19 Republicans who opposed McCarthy in the first ballot shifted their votes to Jordan, including Biggs. While McCarthy gained the same 203 votes he received in the first balloting, which again left him short of the needed majority of 218. All 212 Democrats again voted for Jeffries.
One of those who voted for Jordan was House Freedom Caucus (HFC) Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who during the second ballot posted on Twitter his determination to fight McCarthy no matter how many ballots are required.
“I stand firmly committed to changing the status quo no matter how many ballots this takes. If McCarthy had fought nearly as hard to defeat the failed, toxic policies of the Biden Administration as he has for himself, he would be Speaker of the House right now,” Perry wrote.
Tension is building on the House floor among Republicans. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told Fox News that “If all they want is somebody other than Kevin, let’s be candid. Steve Scalise is supporting Kevin, Jim Jordan is supporting Kevin. As a matter of fact, every member of the leadership team, including every ranking member without becoming a chairman, is supporting Kevin. So we are in a situation in which the 19 have to explain what they want.”
Democrats were quick to seize on the GOP confusion, with Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) issuing a statement following the first vote observing that “Hunter Thompson was right: ‘When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.’ This is what a Republican majority gets us: chaos.”
“Democrats are here and ready to do our jobs for the country. Republican disarray is standing in the way.”
House Republicans remained deadlocked after voting for the third time Tuesday without giving enough votes to make McCarthy the new Speaker of the House.
McCarthy lost one vote—Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.)—on the third vote of the day for a total of 202 votes. Democrat Hakeem Jeffries of New York had the highest total with 212, with all of his Democratic colleagues but no Republicans voting for him.
Incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) drew 20 votes, but his own ballot went to McCarthy for the third time. Jordan received 19 votes on the second ballot.
The conservative rebels who have held firm against McCarthy and coalesced around Jordan on the third ballot remained steadfastly determined to keep their California colleague from succeeding Democrat Nancy Pelosi, also of California, as the new Speaker.
In an impassioned speech nominating Jordan on the third ballot, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) put the issue between McCarthy and the dissidents as one of how best to stand up to President Joe Biden and the Senate Democratic majority.
“How many times have we been down here giving speeches, and there’s not a soul in the chamber? Yet this is what it takes to get 435 People in the chamber and have an actual debate,” Roy told the chamber.
“The American people are watching, and that’s a good thing. What we’re doing is exercising our rights to vote and have a debate and have a discussion about the future of this country through the decision of choosing a speaker.
“This is not personal. It’s not. This is about the future of the country. This is about the direction of the country.”
That vote capped a frenzied two days of back-room bargaining and media posturing by McCarthy and his supporters and a small group of dissident populist conservatives who demanded and got a host of reform concessions, but still voted no on the first ballot.
The bottom line for the dissidents was they just don’t trust McCarthy to be the agent of change they believe must lead the House in what they are determined to make the last two years of President Joe Biden’s tenure in the White House.
“I came to a broken and dysfunctional Congress to change it. Advancing the long-standing pecking order one notch has no prospect of doing that. Many don’t want to change it,” Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) posted on Twitter just before the first vote.
“Kevin McCarthy is not the right candidate to be Speaker. He has perpetuated the Washington status quo that makes this body one of the most unsuccessful and unpopular institutions in the country. This is not about personality or who has ‘earned’ the position, it is about serving the American people. I will not support the status quo,” Bishop continued.
In the final minutes before the new House assembled for the speaker contest, a clearly exasperated and frustrated McCarthy told reporters: “I have the record for the longest speech ever on the floor. I don’t have a problem getting a record for the most votes for Speaker, too.”
He was referring to his more than 90-minute December address to the House in opposition to Biden’s $1.8 trillion omnibus spending bill.
Read the rest here…
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Update (1455ET): Kevin McCarthy has lost the second tally for Speaker of the House.
Of note, when this happened in 1923, it went to nine ballots.
And look who’s gaining steam…
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Update (1310ET): Not even a quarter of the way through roll call, and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has failed to secure enough votes to become Speaker of the House – which will push the contest into a multiple-ballot vote.
According to the Washington Post‘s Paul Kane, the last time this happened was 1923.
What’s next? As Politico reports:
After McCarthy fails to get 218 votes on the first ballot, the Freedom Caucus antagonists have signaled that they will start backing another yet-unnamed candidate on the second ballot. The Daily Beast reported Monday nightthat that person is Ohio Rep. JIM JORDAN, the longtime McCarthy critic-turned-ally.
The Ohio Republican, however, has no shot at being speaker — something that his adoring conservative colleagues know very well. But, per the Daily Beast story, that’s not the point: They’re hoping to peel off more Republicans to back Jordan, aiming to have McCarthy’s vote count decrease from the first ballot to the second.
It’s an open question how long today will go until someone nominates a viable candidate for the gavel — someone like STEVE SCALISE (R-La.) or PATRICK McHENRY (R-N.C.). And there’s a fear that if one of these member’s names is called too early in the process, the conference will turn on them.
Buckle up. It’s going to be a long day.
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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gave a Tuesday morning speech imploring fellow Republicans to elect him as Speaker of the House, as several notable members of the GOP have openly opposed McCarthy.
According to Axios, McCarthy has given hardliners nearly everything they’ve asked for, however he still hasn’t secured enough votes for the position, meaning that for the first time in 100 years, the House will likely hold multiple ballots for the speaker.
In his Tuesday speech, McCarthy listed all the concessions he’s made to the right, and pointed out that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) praised elements of his rules package. Gaetz, notably, has spearheaded the anti-McCarthy movement within the chamber.
“I’ve earned this job,” said McCarthy, after running through everything he’s done to become speaker – to which Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) reportedly shook his head, according to Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman.
“This is bullshit,” said Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) in response to McCarthy’s speech.
In December, Gaetz said he wouldn’t vote for McCarthy because he’s “just a shill of the establishment.”
McCarthy also got into an argument with Rep. Perry, who accused McCarthy of having no track record on spending bills.
McCarthy’s supporters chime in:
In addition to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), McCarthy has the support of neocon Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), who has called McCarthy’s detractors “enemies” and “narcissists.”
“They are enemies now. They have made it clear that they prefer a Democrat agenda than a Republican,” Crenshaw told CNN‘s Manu Raju.
“This handful of members is very clearly looking for notoriety over principle. That’s what it is. And anyone who suggests differently is in some kind of make believe fantasy reality. It’s not, it’s not true,” he continued, adding “They lost those debates.”
“That should have been the end of it because that’s how a team works, right? But if you’re a narcissist, … then you’ll keep going. And you’ll threaten to tear down the team for the benefit of the Democrats just because of your own sense of self importance.”
Another McCarthy supporter, Mike Rogers (R-AL), said the GOP should bar McCarthy dissenters from getting committee slots – an idea Chip Roy didn’t like.
Here’s Roy in December explaining the situation;
According to Axios, this could become a war of attrition in which “[a] good number of pro-McCarthy House Republicans are hoping some of the holdouts are bluffing and looking for a show — and will ultimately get worn down enough during the process to cave for McCarthy.”
The likely candidate to replace McCarthy, in the unlikely event he pulls out, is Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who said he won’t run against McCarthy but has been quietly preparing for this scenario.
It doesn’t look like McCarthy is too worried…
This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
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