Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is questioning how the small number of Republicans who voted to oust him last week has led to the ongoing turmoil among the GOP conference as its members scramble to find a new Speaker.
“What’s validating to me is how do you allow 4 percent of the conference do this to the entire country? Why would all the Democrats join with eight members?” McCarthy told reporters when asked if it was “validating” to see other Republicans face challenges in the Speakership race.
McCarthy, who went through 15 rounds of voting to secure the Speakership in January, was booted from the top position last week when eight Republicans sided with Democrats in a motion to vacate. The House is now slated to close in on 10 days without a Speaker, as Republicans remain split on who to back for the top role.
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Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) narrowly secured the nomination by a vote of 113-99 earlier this week, edging out Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Once it became clear that Scalise would not have enough support to secure the Speakership, he dropped out of the race for Speaker Thursday evening.
“It’s been quite a journey. And there’s still a long way to go. I just shared with my colleagues that I’m withdrawing my name as a candidate for the speaker designee,” Scalise said when leaving a GOP conference meeting Thursday night.
In remarks to reporters after Thursday’s meeting, McCarthy reiterated that his actions to keep the government open was “100 percent” the right decision.
“I’ll say to this day, what I did was 100 percent right, keeping government open. Can you imagine for one moment, the wars that are going around the world and if government were shut down?” McCarthy said.
“I just think the conference as a whole has to figure out their problem, solve it, and select a leader,” he added.
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