‘They’re trying to hijack the team’: Nebraska representatives criticize McCarthy holdouts
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – For the first time in 100 years, the House of Representatives is at a standstill after six failed votes to decide the speaker of the House.
GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy has fallen short of the 218 votes he needs to be elected.
“A lot of Nebraskans have called, and they’ve said, ‘What’s going on?'” Rep. Mike Flood said. “And to be honest, we have 21 other Republican members that have stopped this process, and it’s time for us to get back to work. I want people to know that we aren’t going to leave until we get this done.”
The majority of House Republicans are in favor of McCarthy.
But a small group doesn’t agree that he’s the right candidate, stalling the decision for the first two days of the 118th Congress.
“These folks refuse to be part of the team,” Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon said. “That’s what they’re doing; they’re trying to hijack the team. They’re trying to run the House with a handful people, and that’s unacceptable to the rest of us.”
The House hasn’t had trouble voting for a speaker in recent history.
In fact, this is the first time it’s taken more than one vote since 1923.
Until a speaker is chosen, the House of Representatives can’t do anything else.
“The longer this drags out, the less opportunity we have to get to the important stuff,” Flood said.
Democrats don’t have enough members to elect a member of their own party.
The leader of the House Democrats, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, led all three ballots Wednesday with 212 votes — unanimous support from the party.
McCarthy was able to gather only 201 in each vote.
Twenty other Republicans voted for Rep. Byron Donalds, who said he didn’t come to Washington interested in the position.
Flood said he’ll continue to support McCarthy 100%.
“There has been a robust discussion,” he said. “Now, not every single Republican has signed on, but we will get them there, and we will be united. And when this process finishes, we will have a House majority that’s going to govern and get things done and hold the Biden administration accountable.”