From an email sent 1/3/2023
|Today (1/3/2023) , I will be working with my Republican colleagues to elect the best conservative Speaker to lead our conference in doing the things voters across America elected us to do back on November 8. That will not be Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
During my first race for Congress leading up to the 2020 election, I was urged by hundreds of voters in Virginia’s 5th District to oppose Kevin McCarthy for Republican leader. However, after being elected, I was surprised to see the entire Republican Conference vote by acclamation to confirm McCarthy for leader.
During the 2020 new member orientation, my Republican freshmen class members and I were told by Minority Leader McCarthy that we use every procedural tool at our disposal to thwart the radical Democrat agenda. Sadly, that did not happen, as we got rolled by the majority and the American people suffered under the most extreme leftist policies ever enacted by the Democrat majority.
I continued to hear from hundreds of constituents over the past two years, urging me not to support McCarthy for Speaker if we took the majority. I responded in townhall events and media interviews that I would judge him by what he did during my first two years in Congress. I would assess his efforts to truly fight the Democrat agenda, his commitment to true conservative principles, and his willingness to change how Congress operates to empower regular members.
Unfortunately, Kevin McCarthy did nothing to earn my support these past two years as minority leader when he had the near-exclusive opportunity to audition for the Speaker position. He ignored our pleas to make a motion to “vacate the chair”, when Nancy Pelosi was at her weakest moments with the Progressive Caucus and the “Squad” threatening her from her most extreme Left flank.
McCarthy did not effectively fight unconstitutional proxy voting, mask requirements, or metal detectors for members to pass thru when going to the House chamber to represent their constituents. He resisted our efforts to require recorded roll-call votes on hundreds of pieces of legislation spending billions of dollars when the Democrats attempted to pass them in an empty chamber by “unanimous consent” voice vote.
McCarthy fought our initial efforts to remove Liz Cheney from her leadership position after she voted to impeach President Trump and began to express public views that were out of step with Republican voters. He did not support removing her from leadership until she later publicly embarrassed him at a press conference.
McCarthy never marshaled Republican members to defeat bills passed by Democrats under “suspension of the rules”, and instead helped provide the two-thirds majority needed to pass dozens of these bills “en bloc”. He did not support our efforts to use our rare minority leverage to defeat so-called “must pass” National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bills when Republican votes were needed to pass them. No matter how much they weakened our military with a dangerous woke focus on leftist priorities that diminished military readiness, he personally voted for them four times despite conservatives’ pleas to defeat them.
McCarthy falsely promised that Republicans would not provide the votes to pass the $1.2 trillion phony infrastructure bill, and then did nothing to penalize the 13 Republicans who voted for it.
McCarthy’s repeated mantra when conservatives urged him to fight the Democrat agenda was “we have a plan”. But no plan materialized over the past two years.
McCarthy represents a Republican swamp system that supports and promotes moderates for leadership positions and prime committee assignments, and the exclusion of conservatives. He spent millions of dollars to defeat conservative candidates in the recent 2022 primary races, against the will of the Republican voters in those districts. This is money that should have been utilized to elect more Republicans in the general election.
The Speaker vote is about more than defeating Kevin McCarthy and electing a better leader today. This is about striking a blow against the uni-party swamp cartel, and a Republican system that is hostile to conservatives, resents its base voters, and resists empowering individual members in order to retain power in the hands of an elite few.
We must elect a Speaker who will utilize the power of the purse as leverage to restore fiscal sanity and defund the government tyranny we campaign against. We must elect a Speaker who will exercise effective oversight against the weaponization of the federal government against its citizens. We must elect a Speaker who will pursue a true conservative policy agenda.
We must change how Congress works by reforming our rules to only bring legislation to the Floor that is supported by a majority of the majority (Republicans), let members elect our committee chairmen, require legislation to go thru committees of jurisdiction, have single-issue legislation, permit members to make amendments on the Floor, provide a reasonable amount of time to review legislation before voting on it, require recorded votes, end the practice of earmarks that are utilized to buy votes, and restore accountability for the Speaker by reinstating the motion to vacate the chair.
Don’t fall for the orchestrated disinformation campaign that falsely asserts that opposing McCarthy is somehow helping Democrats, or that he is the only person capable of leading our conference. Nothing helps the Democrats more than maintaining the status quo and electing a Speaker who will not stand up to their agenda. This is demonstrated by past history when McCarthy was majority leader in 2017 and 2018, and every major spending package he helped pass was done so with a majority of Democrat support, instead of Republicans.
It is clear that Kevin McCarthy cannot get the needed 218 votes to become Speaker. We can elect a strong leader who represents the conservative center of the Republican conference and the voters who elected us, and who can lead us in the fight to stop the Biden-Schumer agenda. It is worth investing a few hours, a few days, or whatever it takes, to elect the right leader for our party and for the country. We should not be in a hurry to make a bad decision. We must not accept the false choice that it is either McCarthy or someone worse. We know what we will get with McCarthy, and that is more of the same that is failing the country.
All Republican members of Congress are hearing the same thing from their voters in their districts: “Don’t vote for Kevin McCarthy for Speaker.” For the good of the Republican Conference, for the good of the Congress, and for the good of the country, let’s hope they will listen to them and vote for transformational change.
For God and Country,