Opinion | I’m One of the Last Holdouts Against Kevin McCarthy — and I Won’t Back Down

Back in the summer, a group of conservatives put together a proposal with sweeping changes to the rules and processes that govern how Republicans run the House. For example, we want regular, ranked and profile members to have more power to amend bills in the House. We want at least three days to read and consider bills before being asked to vote on them. And we want to limit the scope of bills to a single topic, so we won’t be asked to vote on a legal “Christmas tree” passed by a tight deadline. We make those requests because the people we represent have told us over and over again that Washington is falling apart and we know they want to see a change in the status quo.

What the American people have been watching to see this week is a healthy democratic process that works as it was designed to: with members in one place, engage in debate and chat live. Important negotiations often drag on for months or even years in a legislature. However, this is the one and only opportunity we have to debate how the House is to be run every two years, both with the election of a speaker and with the passage of new House rules. institute.

Although some accuse us of acting in our own self-interest, we stand firm because we believe the House of Representatives of the United States is designed to be the House of the People, which represents the will of all Americans. That is why the selection of speakers requires a majority vote of the House of Representatives. The majority of the people’s representatives must trust him or her to lead us.

During the past few months of negotiations and debate, we have been very clear with Republican leadership that we want changes that empower permanent members of Congress, each representing a particular district. In an area of ​​more than half a million people, have a more meaningful input on how to legislate. is considered. And some of those procedural changes have been accepted.

We also want to restore the 200-year-old measure of accountability to the speaker’s office, which Nancy Pelosi abandoned, allowing any member of Congress to leave the speaker’s seat, so that every member has a voice on behalf of the spokesperson’s office. voters’ wishes. This was only agreed after 20 Republicans held out firmly for three days. In fact, it was only after it became clear that Mr McCarthy was short of the necessary votes in November that he began to agree to any of the changes we proposed.

It is also important to remember that the American people voted for a new Republican majority in the House, albeit a small one, as a check on the Biden administration. Therefore, the Republican majority must have full confidence in our leader to counter President Biden’s agenda. We could have believed in Mr. McCarthy if he had shown the tenacity in fighting the policies of the Democratic Party, and for the average American, over the past two years as he has. desperate to lose many votes to be a speaker last week .

We already know what the House of Representatives under Mr. McCarthy looks like. He has had 12 years to prove himself as a bold and courageous conservative leader, ready to stand up to leftist agendas. By contrast, when Republicans controlled the majority before 2019, he voted again and again with Democrats to pass massive spending bills that left us more than $31 trillion in debt. .

Throughout this process, one thing has become clear: Kevin McCarthy has not won the confidence of the entire Republican convention to be the leader who will fight to change the status quo in Washington. It’s time for Republicans to move on.

There are many members of our conference who will be well-equipped to be speakers, push back against the Biden administration and uphold conservative values. These discussions, debates, and deliberations are well worth the time it takes to elect a leader who will represent Republicans in America with the audacity that our current political climate has. require. Even if Kevin McCarthy emerges as speaker in the current round of voting, I plan to work with my fellow conservatives to ensure that he lives up to the promises he made. have issued.

I understand the frustration of Republicans wanting to work with the majority. But choosing a strong, conservative speaker lays the foundation needed for the rest of Congress. Empowering members with ranks and profiles to better represent their constituents will only strengthen the work we do on behalf of the American people and will put the interests of the country above our own. special interest in Washington.

I have come to Washington to challenge the status quo, bring revolutionary change to Congress, and protect the interests of the American people, and I intend to keep that promise. Even in the on-demand society we live in, taking the time it takes to make the right decisions is still worth it, even if it means taking a few extra days or weeks to get it right. best speaker possible.


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