Now that the House has failed to block the effort to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, lawmakers are debating whether to vacate the chair.
The floor speeches are a window into what McCarthy’s allies are saying – and why his opponents don’t want him as the GOP leader.
GOP Rep. Bob Good, one of 11 House Republicans to support a vote to oust McCarthy, said, “We need a speaker, who will fight something, anything besides just staying or becoming speaker.”
McCarthy’s ally, House Rules Chairman Tom Cole, described McCarthy’s opponents as “a small group honestly, they’re willing to plunge this body into chaos and this country into uncertainty for reasons that only they understand. I certainly don’t.”
GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is leading the effort against McCarthy, responded to Cole by saying, “Chaos is Speaker McCarthy. Chaos is somebody who we cannot trust with their word.”
Another McCarthy ally, Rep. Tom Emmer, argued that “now it’s time to stand together stronger than ever so we can get back to the work our majority was elected to do. I’m proud to support the speaker.”
House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, who walks the line of being part of the far-right House Freedom Caucus but also a McCarthy ally, said “Kevin McCarthy has been rock solid.”
CNN has reported that Gaetz has floated veteran Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma and House GOP Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota to House Democrats as alternatives to McCarthy.