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Kevin McCarthy Loses House Speakership, 19 Republicans Defect

'I Think The Republican Party Is In The Greatest Danger Of Meltdown That It’s Been Since 1964' Said Former Speaker Of The House Newt Gingrich

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy lost his bid for Speaker of the House in the 118th Congress on Tuesday.

While Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries secured a plurality, no Speaker has been chosen following the first vote.

The 19 Republicans voting against McCarthy included Andy Biggs, Eli Crane, and Paul Gosar of Arizona; Dan Bishop of North Carolina; Lauren Boebert of Colorado; Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma; Michael Cloud, Keith Self and Chip Roy of Texas; Andrew Clyde of Georgia; Matt Gaetz and Anna Paulina Luna of Florida; Bob Good of Virginia; Andy Harris of Maryland; Carol Miller of West Virginia; Ralph Norman of South Carolina; Andy Ogles of Tennessee; Scott Perry of Pennsylvania; and Matt Rosendale of Montana.

Ten defecting Republicans threw support behing Biggs, six for Jim Jordan of Ohio, and single votes for Jim Banks of Indiana, as well as Byron Donalds and Lee Zeldin of New York.

On Sunday, nine Republican House members wrote a letter critical of concessions proposed by House Speaker candidate Kevin McCarthy.

“Mr. McCarthy’s title, ‘Restoring the People’s House and Ending Business as Usual,’ is a welcome and telling admission of the longstanding and deep dysfunction of the House of Representatives and statement of aspiration to begin to set it right in the 118th Congress,” wrote the representatives. “Regrettably, however, despite some progress achieved, Mr. McCarthy’s statement comes almost impossibly late to address continued deficiencies ahead of the opening of the 118th Congress on January 3rd.”

On Monday, former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich criticized McCarthy’s opponents by suggesting they had no “moral right” to oppose.

“I don’t understand what they’re doing. They’re not voting against Kevin McCarthy, they’re voting against over 215 members of their own conference,” said Gingrich. “Their conference voted overwhelmingly, 85%, for McCarthy to be speaker, so this is a fight between a handful of people and the entire rest of the conference.”

“They’re saying they have the right to screw up everything,” he continued. “Well, the precedent that sets is … any five people can get up and say, ‘Well, I’m now going to screw up the conference, too. The choice is Kevin McCarthy or chaos.”

“I think the Republican party is in the greatest danger of meltdown that it’s been since 1964,” Gingrich concluded.

“Every single Republican in Congress knows that Kevin does not actually believe anything. He has no ideology,” wrote Gaetz in a late December op-ed for the Daily Caller. “Some conservatives are using this fact to convince themselves that he is the right leader for the moment, as McCarthy is so weak he’ll promise anything to anyone.”

“McCarthy knows he will end up failing Republicans and caving to liberals. That’s why he opposes reinstating the motion to vacate, which was in place from 1801 to 2018. He wants to make sure conservative congressmen can’t fix the problem once it’s too late.”

A second ballot will be cast following no selection of a House Speaker in an opening ballot, a feat which previously happened in 1923 when Frederick Gillett sought re-election as speaker.

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