Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich attacked Republicans who are opposing Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s, R-Calif., bid for speaker Monday.
Gingrich launched the salvo against McCarthy’s opponents during a Monday appearance on Fox & Friends, saying the vote threatens to throw the GOP into “chaos.” He argued that the small group of hard line lawyers don’t have the “moral right” to oppose the will of the overwhelming majority of Republicans who do support McCarthy for speaker.
“I don’t understand what they’re doing. They’re not voting against Kevin McCarthy, they’re voting against over 215 members of their own conference. Their conference voted overwhelmingly, 85%, for McCarthy to be speaker, so this is a fight between a handful of people and the entire rest of the conference,” Gingrich said.
“They’re saying they have the right to screw up everything,” he continued. “Well, the precedent that sets is…any five people can get up and say, well, I’m now going to screw up the conference too. The choice is Kevin McCarthy or chaos.”
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McCarthy made a final bid to convince the right wing of his party to support his speakership on Sunday, offering major concessions to the group ahead of Tuesday’s vote.
His central concession is allowing for any five Republican representatives to force a vote of no confidence in the Speaker. He also vowed to end the practice of proxy voting and virtual participation in hearings, requiring lawyers to be in Washington to participate in hearings and votes.
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Previous House rules, put in place by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, required a member of the House leadership from the majority party to initiate a vote to remove the current speaker.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.; Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., and Bob Good, R-Va., have already vowed to oppose McCarthy’s bid. He also faces potential opposition from GOP Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Chip Roy of Texas, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Andy Harris of Maryland and Andrew Clyde of Georgia, along with Rep.-elects Andy Ogles of Tennessee, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida and Eli Crane of Arizona, among others.
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“Every single Republican in Congress knows that Kevin does not actually believe anything. He has no ideology,” Gaetz wrote in a December op-ed for the Daily Caller. “Some conservatives are using this fact to convince themselves that he is the right leader for the moment, as McCarthy is so weak he’ll promise anything to anyone.”