Montana GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale, one of the eight House Republicans who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy from his leadership position, laid out characteristics he wants to see in the next speaker during a Thursday interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
After the House voted 216 to 210 to remove McCarthy on Tuesday, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced bids for speaker, with Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern considering a run ahead of next week’s vote. Though Rosendale maintained he is waiting to see who all throws their hat in the race by next Tuesday’s candidate forum, he told the DCNF that the new speaker should be “actually a leader” who’s “trustworthy” and has “integrity.”
“The most important criteria that that we need to look for is someone who has integrity, someone who is trustworthy so that I know when they make commitments to us in the conference behind closed doors, that those commitments are not ignored or violated when they leave the room and begin negotiations with Hakeem Jeffries, Chuck Schumer or Joe Biden,” said Rosendale. “The next thing is we need someone who’s actually a leader, who doesn’t allow a consensus to be created, but actually is a leader and shares a vision with us on what that looks like. And then has the ability to incite enthusiasm within the conference to actually pursue that vision.”
Rosendale argues that McCarthy broke promises he made to conservatives during his speakership bid in January, the debt ceiling negotiations in May and the recent spending fight that resulted in a continuing resolution, which the congressman staunchly opposed.
Along with Rosendale and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who filed the motion to vacate, Republican Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Eli Crane of Arizona, Tim Burchett of Tennessee and Bob Good of Virginia voted with 208 Democrats to oust McCarthy, according to the House Clerk.
“The only time that we have failed to get the conservative agenda passed, was when Kevin McCarthy basically went to the Democrats and screwed us and sold us out — us being the Republican conference, us being the American people — and sought to water down the legislation and get Democrats to pass it,” said Rosendale. “He has violated the trust and the confidence of this conference. He’s working against everything that we said we were coming up here to do. And it’s time for him to be removed. And so that was accomplished.”
Numerous McCarthy allies have slammed the Republicans for voting to remove the speaker, with some arguing they acted for personal reasons and others hinting at expelling Gaetz for spearheading the motion.
Several House Republicans who opposed the motion to vacate are floating changing the rules to raise the threshold to bring a motion to vacate the speaker, including Florida Rep. Carlos Gimenez, New York Rep. Mike Lawler, Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei and others. One of the rules agreed upon when McCarthy secured the gavel in January was for any single member to have the ability to file a motion to vacate.
“That rule stood the test of time for over 200 years, and we are finally getting back to restoring the regular order in Congress. And I think it would be a major mistake after we were able to get the rules re-instituted in January that had been gone for so long, to begin undermining the very restoration of Congress that we were able to achieve,” said Rosendale.
McCarthy announced that he will not be running for the position again, and Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina was named speaker pro tempore. The House will hold the speaker election next Wednesday following the candidate forum.
Jordan is reportedly the favorite of McCarthy’s staff, who have been making calls to bolster support for the chairman, according to Semafor.
A spokesperson for Hern pointed the DCNF toward a media appearance on Newsmax Wednesday evening upon request for comment, where he maintained he has yet to make a final decision, but is reaching out to members to gauge support for a potential speaker bid.
Jordan, Scalise and McCarthy did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
Mary Lou Masters on October 5, 2023