California Republicans say McCarthy best speaker choice after historic vote failure
California GOP members of Congress are united in favor of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) taking the speakership and are prepared to fight as long as it takes.
Two congressmen who have known McCarthy for at least 20 years told the Washington Examiner that he is America’s best choice for reversing the disastrous turn America has taken under the Biden administration.
“Look at everything [McCarthy] has said for the past months about the whole Biden agenda,” said Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA). “There isn’t anybody else who can do this.”
LaMalfa said the California GOP members are united behind McCarthy.
McCarthy vowed to secure the border, tackle immigration, and fix the energy problems in America, among other things. He also warned Democrats of looming investigations, like the origin of COVID-19 and whether Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas should be impeached.
On Tuesday, 19 members of the Republican conference opposed McCarthy as House speaker in a historic vote that saw the House without a speaker for the first time since 1923. McCarthy can afford to lose only four votes if he wants to win. He was opposed by far-right GOP members.
“The American people trusted us with their votes, and now we need to come together as a conference and course correct the disastrous Biden administration and get the country back on track,” Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) said. “Kevin McCarthy will be the most focused and prepared speaker in my lifetime. He’s had my support from the start.”
Issa says they have worked on dozens of initiatives together over the years.
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LaMalfa says McCarthy has been a huge supporter of helping California farmers who have watched their water rations shrink down to nothing over the past decade of drought. State and federal regulators control the flow of water and have left farmers scrambling for groundwater or purchases on the black market.
McCarthy has also been tough on the border issue, watching as California became the first sanctuary state to welcome immigrants from all over the world, LaMalfa said.
“He has earned this. He has done the work,” LaMalfa said. “Kevin knows how to pull people together and keep the caucus on the right track. I’m afraid the 19 have pointed themselves so far into the corner they can’t come out.”
During a “vigorous” November caucus meeting, 30 members opposed McCarthy, so seeing the numbers whittled down to 19 is still a victory of sorts, LaMalfa said. McCarthy has made concessions on “90% of what they wanted,” but the opposition group appears to want a total win.
“He is accommodating and listening to their concerns as far as the rules package and a way to move forward,” LaMalfa said. “Many of these [opponents] are really good friends of mine. They need to vote yes — nobody wins everything.”
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) even threatened to keep the detractors off committees as a way to force the vote. LaMalfa said he strongly opposes any such move.
“It’s not something I recommend. I would rather they come to the right conclusion rather than this threat,” he said.
Even respected Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) voted for McCarthy and against himself as others sought to elevate Jordan to the position of speaker, LaMalfa said.
While there is a chance that the vote drags on for days, LaMalfa is hoping to convince some members to vote “present” rather than for a particular candidate in order to get McCarthy over the finish line.
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“We need to get going on our jobs with this two-year window we have,” he said. “Every hour we blow on this is an hour wasted.”