U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), along with the other Republicans in Alabama's delegation, has voted for Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House in all six ballots since the contentious leadership election began on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, he still remains sympathetic to the Republicans who refuse to give McCarthy their support and said McCarthy may need to "step back" and nominate someone else if he can't get the votes.
“At some point [McCarthy] may need to step back and nominate somebody if he’s for sure he can’t get to 218," Moore told Apryl Marie Fogel on NewsTalk 93.1 Wednesday afternoon. "I thought they would’ve had the deal last night. So, we’ll see if he can nominate somebody that everybody can agree on… I’d love to see us come behind Kevin. He’s worked very hard, but there are no guarantees up here. This is politics.”
On Monday, Moore insinuated to 1819 News that he was not sold on U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Nevertheless, Moore voted for McCarthy in all three rounds of Tuesday’s election and a fourth round on Wednesday, all of which failed to establish a Speaker.
He voted for McCarthy again on the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds of voting that took place on Wednesday.
A handful of conservative Republicans, namely those involved with the Freedom Caucus, have denied support to McCarthy due to his inability to address rule changes put in place by U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during her tenure in the leadership role.
To win the speakership, a candidate must receive 218 votes. The Democrats, who now have only a slight minority in the House, have unanimously backed U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (D-N.Y.). Jefferies received 212 votes in all three rounds of voting on Tuesday.
Despite having a majority, the Republican advantage in the House is thin. This has prevented the establishment Republicans, led by McCarthy, from overcoming their more conservative opposition.
In the first two rounds of voting on Tuesday, McCarthy only received 203 votes. He lost a vote from U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) during the third round as Donalds threw his support behind opposition nominee U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
Jordan, a founding Freedom Caucus member, gave his support to McCarthy for Speaker for the sake of party unity, but more conservative Republicans continued to nominate and vote for him during the second and third rounds of voting.
Donalds himself was nominated by the more conservative Republicans in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. He received 20 votes on each of the last three ballots.
The House will not be able to address any other business until a Speaker obtains a majority. Representatives will keep voting until one is reached.
Representatives of the Alabama delegation U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) and Dale Strong (R-Huntsville) explicitly stated their intention to vote for McCarthy on Monday. Rogers, specifically, functioned as an enforcer for McCarthy’s cause on Tuesday, threatening Republican dissidents' removal from committees if they failed to support McCarthy.
Moore, on the other hand, said he was working with the Freedom Caucus to negotiate rule changes.
“Once these negotiations are complete, we will elect a Speaker and get to work fighting the Biden administration’s radical policies,” Moore told 1819 News on Monday.
It’s not exactly clear if McCarthy conceded to any of the Freedom Caucus’s demands during that time or what made Moore finally decide to vote for McCarthy throughout the day on Tuesday.
McCarthy sought to compromise with the Freedom Caucus over the weekend, but his opposition said his offer was not enough.
Moore also told NewsTalk 93.1 that he hasn’t voted for Jordan because he didn’t want the job and would serve a much more valuable role in chairing the House Judiciary Committee.
“The American people are why we’re here,” Moore said. "... Since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, 70% of the Republican Caucus are new candidates. What happened is the American people [began] to vote different outside candidates … As the American people began to send those members to college, the House Freedom Caucus grew. They’re liberty-loving, free-thinking, not going to be told what to do. They’re going to negotiate. We’re going to negotiate, trying to get the best possible outcome we can. This is part of that process.”
Moore said that, ultimately, the House is working the way it should.
“At the end of the day, I feel like we’ll come together,” Moore said. “I don’t know when that will be or how long that will take … This is a process that’s just going to have to take some time. We’re going to have to find somebody that we’re all going to coalesce around. Kevin may have to make additional concessions to get what he needs.”
1819 News reached out to Moore’s office again to ask for comment. We received no response.
Currently, the House Republicans are negotiating to secure some sort of unanimity around a candidate for Speaker as a fifth vote for the powerful position looms.
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