Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Congressman Andy Ogles votes against Kevin McCarthy for speaker.

Congressman Andy Ogles
by Rod Williams, Jan. 3, 2022- Fifth Congressional Congressman Andy Ogles was one of 19 House Republicans who voted against Kevin McCarthy for Speaker on the first ballot today. This is the first time a Speaker has not been elected on the first ballot in over a hundred years. All of Tennessee's other Republican congressmen voted for McCarthy. For a full list of those voting against McCarthy follow this link.

The Republican challenger to McCarthy is Rep. Andy Biggs or Arizona.  Briggs is a Trumpinista who helped organize the Jan. 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) has testified at the Jan. 6th hearings that Biggs was one of those who pressured him to decertify Arizona’s 2020 presidential results.

Those opposing McCarthy are members of the House Freedom Caucus and allege that McCarthy is insufficiently conservative and is too willing to compromise with Democrats on spending issues.  The mainstream press identifies them as "conservative" or "far-right" but it is hard to know if they are genuinely concerned that McCarthy is insufficiently conservative or if he is insufficiently a Trump loyalist. Not all Trumpinista Congressmen are opposing McCarthy.  Nut-job Trumpinista Congressman Majorie Taylor Greene is supporting McCarthy.  

I suspect that eventually McCarthy will be elected speaker.  It takes 218 votes to be elected speaker if everyone votes and Briggs cannot come close to getting that number.  Democrats are supporting Democrat Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. On the first ballot, Jeffries got 212 votes but there is almost no chance that six Republicans would break rank to vote for him. Likewise, there is almost no chance that a significant number of Democrats would break rank to elect McCarthy. McCarthy has already made some concessions to Republicans leery of supporting him. What is most likely to happen is that McCarthy will keep cutting deals and making concessions until he gets to 218 but we will end up with a very weak speaker. Or, McCarthy could cut deals with Democrats to get a significant number of them to simply abstain so he could be elected with less than 218 votes. In any event, we can look forward to a weak Speaker and an undisciplined weak Republican majority in the House. 

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