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Time to ‘Move Past’ Kevin McCarthy

One of the Republican congressmen opposing Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in his bid for speaker of the House of Representatives said Jan. 4, after McCarthy failed to receive enough votes in three rounds of voting, that McCarthy should step aside.

“We need to move past Kevin McCarthy,” Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) told NTD. “He doesn’t have the votes. He’s not going to have the votes.”

Good is one of 19 Republican members who voted in two rounds for candidates other than McCarthy and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). The votes prevented McCarthy from receiving a majority, which is required to win the speaker election.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) voted for McCarthy in the first rounds but joined the splinter group in the third. Donalds said on Fox News that he switched because “McCarthy doesn’t have the votes.”

“When the dust settles, we will have a Republican Speaker, now is the time for our conference to debate and come to a consensus,” Donalds said on Twitter.

McCarthy now has 20 members “that are hard-nosed against him,” Good said on NTD’s “Capitol Report” ahead of the fourth round of voting, which was slated to take place at midday. “We need the conference to come together and consider what other candidates they think should be considered.”

In the initial round, most breakaway members backed Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus. In the second and third rounds, they all shifted to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who has been the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

When questioned whether there’s a chance he will become speaker, Jordan said no.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, and Donalds also received a vote each in the first round.

“I think you may see someone else emerge today in the fourth ballot, the first ballot that we have afternoon today, or perhaps on the fifth ballot,” Good said on NTD.

He also predicted that more members will vote for a candidate other than McCarthy.

Before Tuesday, no speaker election had gone to a second ballot since 1923. The longest election was in 1855, when two months elapsed and 133 votes were held before the House narrowly chose Rep. Nathanial Banks to the top post.

“Kevin McCarthy needs to drop out, he needs to do what’s best for the country, what’s best for the Congress, what’s best for the Republican conference,” Good said. “We’ll drag this out as long as we need to. It’s worth spending a few days or even a couple of weeks to get a speaker that we’re going to have to live with. And the country cannot afford someone like Kevin McCarthy as speaker and we’re determined not to let that happen for the good of the country.”

McCarthy told reporters Tuesday night that he was not leaving the race.

“It’s not going to happen,” he said.

Former President Donald Trump backed McCarthy on Wednesday morning and urged Republicans to vote for him. Asked about the endorsement, Good said that McCarthy’s history as the top Republican in the House did not show that McCarthy should become speaker. He also said that McCarthy’s actions during a closed-door Republican conference meeting before the votes demonstrated “an anger and an intensity and a toughness directed at Republicans in the meeting who weren’t supporting him at speaker that we’ve never seen directed against Democrats who are ruining the country.”

“If we had seen that kind of fight over the last two years in my first term in Congress, or over the past 12 years that he’s been in leadership directed at Democrats and the policies that are ruining the country, he wouldn’t be in a situation he is in today, where he cannot get the votes,” Good said.

kevin mccarthy
U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks to reporters following a meeting with House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 3, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Gaetz Letter

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), another member of the McCarthy opposition, wrote to the architect of the Capitol on Tuesday about McCarthy.

Gaetz said that McCarthy is occupying the speaker of the house office despite not being elected speaker.

“After three undeciding votes, no member can lay claim to this office,” Gaetz wrote.

“What is the basis in law, House rule, or precedent to allow someone who has placed second in three successive speaker elections to occupy the Speaker of the House Office? How long will he remain there before he is considered a squatter?” Gaetz asked Brett Blanton, the architect.

McCarthy’s office and Blaton’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

McCarthy was selected in 2022 by a majority of the GOP caucus as the Republican candidate for speaker, but Biggs later announced he would challenge McCarthy.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) selected Biggs on the House floor on Tuesday before the opposition group rallied behind Jordan in the following two rounds.

Zachary Stieber

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.

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