The Republican wing of the Alabama congressional delegation stood behind House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as Congress surprisingly voted to vacate his chair.
The resolution proposed by U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) sought to vacate the speaker’s chair after Gaetz believed he had enough support from the Republican majority.
He drafted the resolution in response to both legislative houses passing a continuing resolution that approved funding the government for an additional 45 days and prevented a government shutdown. The vote went down to the wire, with many in the House desiring to vote on all 12 appropriations bills one at a time without ceding too much ground to Democrats.
More conservative House Republicans like Gaetz expressed displeasure at the stopgap solution for its continued funding for Ukraine, lack of funding for border security and not addressing the federal deficit. Other Republicans accused McCarthy of spending his tenure capitulating to Democrats.
The final vote to vacate came in at 216-210, with most support coming from House Democrats.
U.S. Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), Jerry Carl (R-Mobile), Mike Rogers (R-Saks) and Dale Strong (R-Huntsville) all voted against vacating the speaker’s chair.
Despite praising McCarthy for “working with Democrats” to pass the stopgap bill, Democratic U.S. Rep Terri Sewell (R-Birmingham) joined House Democrats in voting to remove McCarthy.
Aderholt said he voted in favor of McCarthy for doing a good job considering the slim majority held by House Republicans.
“I am certainly disappointed that Speaker McCarthy has been removed,” Aderholt said. “While no Speaker is perfect, as no member of Congress is perfect, I believe that Speaker McCarthy has done the best he can in bringing conservative bills to the floor. We must remember that Republicans have one of the narrowest margins in the history of the United States House of Representatives.
“Our nation currently has many challenges, and certainly the debt of this country, and the crisis at the border, are issues that must be dealt with. Republicans must find a way to work together to do the most we can do until we can grow our majority. We don’t give up because we can’t win everything today. I will never give in and never quit fighting to solve the debt problem and the disaster at the border.”
Moore also released a statement on his vote, saying ousting the speaker would create more chaos than solutions.
“Congress has 41 days left to fund the government by getting the remaining appropriations bills passed - let’s not waste them,” Moore said. “If we keep our eye on the prize, we have the chance to do something that hasn’t been done in 26 years. We can fund the government through regular order with cuts to Biden’s out-of-control spending that is currently imposing a 17% inflation tax on Americans, but not if we waste time on infighting about the motion to vacate.”
Carl blasted the move, calling the vote a “distraction from the real issues.”
I voted against removing Speaker McCarthy because this is nothing more than a distraction from the real issues that matter to Americans.— Rep. Jerry Carl (@RepJerryCarl) October 3, 2023
We need to focus on securing the border, cutting wasteful government spending, countering the Biden admin, and stopping the woke agenda.
Strong also backed McCarthy, saying Republicans who voted in favor of vacating were chasing "sound bites."
“Today, 97% of Republicans in the House voted to abandon this Washington parlor game so that we can resume the consideration of conservative, single-subject funding bills," Strong said in a statement. "In my short time in Washington, I have seen that some members are here to fight on behalf of the conservative values of their constituents and others here for sound bites. Today, I supported our speaker because we have a narrow window to finish our work on the appropriations process, and discord within our conference threatens our ability to put conservative legislation on the president’s desk."
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