U.S. Rep Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) recently defended his vote not to vacate the Speaker of the House of Representatives position.
On Tuesday, Congress voted to vacate the seat of the Speaker of the House, occupied at the time by Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). The unprecedented 216-210 vote drew unanimous support from House Democrats, with only eight Republicans joining to vote in favor.
Palmer sided with every other Republican in the Alabama delegation by voting in favor of retaining McCarthy. U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) joined House Democrats in voting to oust.
On a recent appearance on 105.5 WREC's Alabama Morning News with JT, Palmer defended his vote, saying removing McCarthy complicates GOP priorities going forward.
"We're trying to get our appropriations bills passed, and this is going to lock down things for I don't know how long," Palmer said.
More conservative House Republicans like U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who brought the motion to vacate, blamed McCarthy for approving a temporary spending solution in the House to avoid a government shutdown. A few House Republicans slammed the temporary spending bill 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.
Palmer said he believed McCarthy was doing the best he could while presiding over the slimmest Republican majority in recent history. He also claimed that McCarthy rejected a last-minute quid pro quo from House Democrats who offered to vote against vacating the seat if McCarthy halted the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden.
"I thought Kevin was doing as good a job as he could under the circumstances," Palmer continued. "I don't agree with everything he did, but my wife doesn't agree with everything I do. You just can't make things personal, JT, and I think that's part of what happened here. What I think we should have done is finish the course, get through the next election and then have that debate then. Because we've got some serious stuff that we've got to deal with. We had an opportunity to pass a bill that would secure the Southern border, put the pressure on the Senate on that issue, and we couldn't get that done. So, it's just really been a very, very frustrating time, and now we're in a situation where there's so much uncertainty going forward that we just have to wait and see what happens."
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