This is another long post, but I want to give everyone an update on where things currently stand with the election of a House Speaker. This has been a hot topic in D.C. lately among the political elites, talking heads, and journalists.
First, let's lay the foundation…
This Tuesday, January 3rd, marks the first day of the new 118th Congress. In the House of Representatives, the first order of business at the start of every new Congress is electing the Speaker of the House. In fact, it's required by the Constitution and no other business can take place in the House until a Speaker has been chosen by a majority of members who are present and voting.
The Speaker of the House is an incredibly powerful position. Not only is he/she third in line for the presidency, but the Speaker also wields total control over almost everything that happens in the House. This includes deciding which bills ultimately come up for a vote.
With Republicans winning back control of the House this past November, we obviously need a Speaker who is capable and willing to fight hard for Republican priorities like FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY, securing the border, reducing inflation, holding the Biden Administration accountable, etc.
That first priority, fiscal responsibility, is extremely important to me…
Your government spends money like drunken sailors, and Republicans are just as much to blame as Democrats. We're spending obscene amounts of money on programs we probably don't need and certainly cannot afford, much of it using borrowed money. Politicians keep piling on with NO guardrails, NO effort to reduce spending, NO movement to balance the budget, and NO effort to pay down our mind-blowing levels of national debt.
I'm serious when I say nobody expects Democrats to show restraint when it comes to spending other people's money or burying our future generations under mountains of debt. It's just what they do, and somehow it's all justified under the guise of "compassion" or "justice" or "equity."
Republicans, however, are supposed to be the adults in the room on fiscal matters. Yet our party and leadership has failed so miserably on this front, and I'm tired of it! I'll gladly take the heat for voting against fiscally irresponsible bills, like the so-called "Inflation Reduction Act" last year. But I'm just one member out of ~435 in the House, plus another 100 in the Senate. We need more Republicans to stand up and do the right thing on fiscal policy. That's where a strong House Speaker becomes critical.
What we need – and what I expect – from a House Speaker is someone willing to fight HARD for Republican priorities, especially on fiscal matters. And that's precisely my concern with Rep. McCarthy, who has been in various levels of Republican leadership for over a dozen years, most recently as the House Minority Leader since 2018. During this time, there have been so many examples where Republicans have been rolled, where liberal priorities were allowed to prevail without a real debate, where Republican strengths were not leveraged, and where fiscal responsibility was simply cast aside.
For example, think back to 2017–2018 when Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and White House. Of all the major spending bills passed into law during this period, EVERY ONE OF THEM passed with more Democrat support than Republican support. (Let that sink in for a minute.) That's an abysmal failure of leadership to use its leverage, particularly House leadership, since the House is supposed to be the chamber where revenue bills originate.
Friends, I sincerely like Kevin McCarthy on a personal level, and I mean that. However, as a potential Speaker of the House, I haven't even scratched the surface of my concerns. I simply refuse to sit on the sidelines and go along with the crowd, just because the establishment has already ordained their "heir apparent" to the speakership.
Here's the bottom line…
I want guarantees that we're actually trying to get our fiscal house in order. At a minimum that includes a genuine, legitimate effort to determine what federal spending can be responsibly cut, how we're going to balance the budget in a reasonable amount of time, and how we're going to pay down this outrageous debt. It also means guaranteed votes on critical pieces of that plan, with every member being on record.
While this is not easy work, it's also not asking too much. I'd argue it's the least America deserves from her elected representatives.
I also want a House Leadership team who is willing (and courageous enough) to leverage "must-pass legislation" to get our priorities pushed through the Senate and signed into law, which is EXACTLY what Democrats have been doing all these years while they controlled the House.
Assuming all House members are present and voting this week, the Republican candidate for Speaker will need at least 218 total votes to be elected. With only 222 Republicans in the upcoming majority, there's only a slim margin and there are a handful of others like me who are publicly voicing concerns about the Speaker. So we'll have to see how this irons out.
Regardless of which Republican is ultimately chosen to be Speaker, that individual will have my support after the dust settles as we work together on Republican priorities and fighting back against the woke policies of the Biden Administration. I'll be sure to keep you all updated, and I appreciate everyone who has reached out with their kind words of encouragement.
Happy New Year.