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The Columbia Bugle Newsletter: Speaker's Race Edition
After a chaotic finish to a wild week on the House Floor, Kevin Owen McCarthy (R-CA) is now the 55th Speaker of the House.
If you’ve followed our Twitter feed over the past few years, you are probably aware that we are no fans of McCarthy and he was not our choice for Speaker. That being said, we must salute the 20 Republicans who boldly stood up and held the line until they were able to extract a number of pretty impressive concessions out of McCarthy. Time will tell whether McCarthy honors all of these and how they are implemented, but this was a worthy battle to wage and we thank all of 20 for fighting in it.
(Note: Since these newsletters are long, Substack has indicated they may get cut off a bit when receiving them by email. If that happens, you can always access the full newsletter directly on Substack.)
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A Good Fight
The week began with reports that more Republicans may be joining the group of five who had already stated publicly that they would not be voting for Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House on the first ballot.
The Original Five
The Great America First Patriot Representative Matt Gaetz kicked it off with an Op-Ed laying out the case against McCarthy: Republicans Need A Real Leader, Not Kevin McCarthy
On Jan. 3rd, Republicans will start the process of choosing the House Speaker. The Speaker will be second in line for the presidency and the most powerful elected Republican.
The vote will take several ballots and possibly many days. After internal debate, Republicans will come together and pick the right leader for the role and that should not be Kevin McCarthy.
Representative Andy Biggs’ Piece In The American Greatness: I Cannot Vote for Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker
During this midterm campaign, I attended hundreds of events in my district, around Arizona, and around the country. The issue I was asked about most often was whether I or the Republicans in the House, or the Republicans in the Senate, would keep the same leaders.
Not only did my constituents want the “red wave” that didn’t materialize, they also wanted new leadership.
In the end, I must concur with my constituents: it is time to make a change at the top of the House of Representatives. I cannot vote for the gentleman from California, Mr. McCarthy.
Representative Matt Rosendale’s Op-Ed In The Billings Gazette: Change in Washington Starts With Electing The Right Speaker
We need a speaker who is strong enough to get things done with a Democrat-controlled White House and can unite the Republican party. You didn’t elect me to be a rubber stamp. We cannot continue to do the same thing with the same people and expect a different outcome. My promise is to always fight for Montanans while in Washington.
Representative Ralph Norman’s Blog Post: The Speaker Of The House
Friends, I sincerely like Kevin McCarthy on a personal level, and I mean that. However, as a potential Speaker of the House, I haven't even scratched the surface of my concerns. I simply refuse to sit on the sidelines and go along with the crowd, just because the establishment has already ordained their "heir apparent" to the speakership.
Representative Bob Good’s Op-Ed In the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Kevin McCarthy Is The Wrong Choice For House Speaker
Americans need a courageous conservative leader in the House who can lead and unite us in the fight against the Biden agenda. For the good of the Republican conference, for the good of Congress and for the good of the country, let’s hope Republican leaders will listen to the will of their constituents and vote for transformational change on Jan. 3.
Leading Up To The First Ballot
A few days before the scheduled Speaker vote, in response to continued negotiations, nine lawmakers signed a letter telling McCarthy that he had still not gone far enough.
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.
At this stage, it cannot be a surprise that expressions of vague hopes reflected in far too many of the crucial points still under debate are insufficient. This is especially true with respect to Mr. McCarthy’s candidacy for speaker because the times call for radical departure from the status quo — not a continuation of past, and ongoing, Republican failures. For someone with a 14-year presence in senior House Republican leadership, Mr. McCarthy bears squarely the burden to correct the dysfunction he now explicitly admits across that long tenure.
Meetings continued with McCarthy sounding less and less confident.
Gaetz reaffirming his commitment to vote no.
The morning of the vote for Speaker began with news of several more defections from McCarthy.
Then things began to escalate with news that McCarthy was concerned there would be as many as 20 Republicans who would vote against him.
Of course this led to America Last RINO Representative Dan Crenshaw flipping out.
Representative Matt Gaetz’s Remarks Before The Vote
And guess who decided to show up for the vote.
More on McCarthy’s Best Friend.
The first ballot for Speaker of the House began with the nomination of Kevin McCarthy by Representative Elise Stefanik.
More on Stefanik.
Democrats followed that up by nominating Representative Hakeem Jeffries.
And then came the first moment of defiance against Kevin McCarthy for Speaker on the House Floor, with Representative Paul Gosar nominating Representative Andy Biggs for Speaker of the House.
When the first ballot was completed, McCarthy had failed to receive enough votes to become Speaker and the number opposing him was not 5 or 14, but 19.
And McCarthy failed again with the same 19 Republicans voting against him, but this time all voting for Jordan.
On the third ballot Representative Chip Roy nominated Jordan again.
The 19 once again all voted against McCarthy and in favor of Jordan, but were joined by a new ally Representative Byron Donalds.
After failing to receive enough votes for Speaker three times in a row, Team McCarthy made a motion to adjourn.
Day 1 closed with McCarthy now being blocked from the Speakership by 20 Republicans.
Tucker Carlson weighed in on the Speaker’s race that night.
And made some recommendations.
And of course Hannity offered the most Boomer reaction.
Throwback To A Great Revolver News Piece On Hannity: The America First Movement Has A Sean Hannity Problem
Until they liberate themselves from The Hannity Trap, the compulsion to snap back in line behind the military-industrial-globalism complex whenever it actually matters, the Republican Party, Fox News, and other bastions of American “conservatism” will never be capable or worthy of Making America Great Again.
Rep. Roy debating Laura Ingraham, who used some of the most ridiculous Team McCarthy arguments.
Rep. Gaetz closed out the night by asking the Architect of the Capitol why McCarthy was squatting in the Speaker of the House Office.
The next day began with reports that McCarthy was willing to agree to some of the provisions that Tucker Carlson had laid out in the segment shared above.
But nothing appeared to be officially agreed to yet and Rep. Gaetz still had the votes to block McCarthy.
On the fourth ballot Rep. Roy nominated Rep. Donalds for Speaker.
McCarthy failed to get back any of the 20 defectors. This time, they all voted for Donalds.
There was one surprise though.
The fifth and sixth ballots ended with the exact same results: 20 votes for Donalds and one vote of present.
They then adjourned until 8pm et, where they then adjourned again until the next day.
Crenshaw continued to meltdown.
Epic Donalds Reaction
Gaetz and others met with McCarthy later that night.
Tucker once again called out Team McCarthy.
And put Crenshaw on blast.
Boebert vs. Hannity
Gaetz went on Fox News later that night.
Bad Lip Reading’s Take On Gosar Chatting With AOC
Another day of voting began with Donalds being nominated again and all 20 voting against McCarthy with one vote of present.
19 of those 20 voted for Donalds again, but Gaetz changed things up and voted for the big man himself.
The 8th ballot yielded similar results with all 20 voting against McCarthy.
17 voted for Donalds again.
2 (Boebert and Brecheen) voted for a new nominee Representative Kevin Hern.
Gaetz voted for Donald Trump again, making history.
17 for Donalds
3 for Hern (Boebert, Brecheen and Gaetz)
13 for Donalds
7 for Hern (Biggs, Boebert, Brecheen, Crane, Gaetz, Harris and Rosendale)
Reports then began coming out about a deal being worked on.
For the eleventh ballot made good on his promise and formally nominated President Donald Trump.
And asked once again why Kevin was still squatting in the Speaker’s Office.
Eleventh Ballot Votes
12 for Donalds (Good switched to Hern)
7 for Hern (Gaetz switched to Trump)
1 for Trump
The House then adjourned again until January 6th at noon et.
Tucker called out Crenshaw again later that night.
Gaetz Vs. Ingraham
Pedro Gonzalez’s Excellent Substack Piece: Sending A Message
How this will end is yet to be determined, but it is the first time in a very long time that anyone in this country has tried to send a message to the powerful and hold their golden loafers to the fire, and that is, as they say, what democracy looks like.
January 6th Part One: The Rumblings Of A Truce
January 6th began with confusion over whether a deal had been finally reached.
But once the twelfth ballot came around it became obvious that McCarthy was making progress.
This moment was hilarious.
The twelfth ballot brought the number opposing McCarthy down to 7 and then the thirteenth ballot brought it down to 6 with Harris switching to McCarthy. The House then adjourned until later that night with McCarthy’s side much more confident.
A framework of the deal was released.
January 6th Part 2: Friday Night Chaos
As members of Congress began to head back to the floor for the fourteenth ballot it appeared as though McCarthy had finally sealed the deal and was going to be sworn in as Speaker sometime before midnight.
That belief seemed to be confirmed when Republicans only had one nominating speech.
Representative Patrick McHenry nominated Kevin McCarthy in a speech that was much more celebratory than the previous McCarthy nominating speeches. The mood on the Team McCarthy side was definitely different this time.
And if McCarthy’s math skills were to be believed, this war was over.
The Fourteenth Ballot
You won’t hear this often, but this is must watch CSPAN. I’ve linked the start of the voting down below.
Team McCarthy either failed at math or there was some kind of miscommunication.
And then all hell broke loose.
Team McCarthy then made a motion to adjourn and it looked as though the night would end without a Speaker. But while the votes for adjournment were being tallied there appeared to finally be some sort of agreement.
The Fifteenth Ballot
Biggs, Crane, Good and Rosendale joined Boebert and Gaetz in voting present and Kevin McCarthy became the 55th Speaker of the House.
If you want to watch one of the worst speeches ever given on the House Floor, here you go.
McCarthy Sworn In
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s Speech
The speech was forgettable with the same platitudes and stories you can hear from any politician. But that is to be expected with McCarthy. He’s an empty suit who has finally achieved his dream job.
If being Speaker was all that he wanted and he honors the deal, then there is reason to be excited about what the courageous 20 achieved. They deserve a lot of praise for holding out for as long as they did against pressure from their donors, their colleagues and “conservative” media. Many will try and claim credit and steal the valor of these patriots, but to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, the credit belongs to those who were actually in the arena.