Conservatives Push Bloc Voting to Influence Speaker of the House Decision

Jim Jordan Freedom Caucus J. Scott ApplewhiteAP
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Conservatives in the House of Representatives believe a bloc vote will help influence who will be the next Speaker of the House, so members of the House Freedom Caucus will meet Wednesday afternoon to debate which member – Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Daniel Webster, or Rep. Jason Chaffetz – they should support for Speaker.

“If we vote as a group, we have more ability to influence the decision than if we don’t,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told the room full of reporters. “Every candidate last night told us good things,” Jordan said, referencing a meeting with conservative members Tuesday where McCarthy, Webster, and Chaffetz each addressed the group to deliver their message about why they should be Speaker.

“We want to make sure it’s not just a promise,” Jordan explained, adding the group, “[wants] to see a course of action” and “change the way we’re doing things in the House.”

“We’re going to meet later on this afternoon,” he said, about debating and deciding who the House Freedom Caucus will support during Thursday’s nomination as well as during the vote on the House floor.

The conference will nominate a member to replace Boehner on Thursday, but that individual must have 218 votes by October 29th in order to become Speaker.

During the discussion, the Congressmen made it clear they wanted a Speaker who will respect process and send bills to the Senate weeks before a vote to avoid filibusters and allow time for discussion and debate. They made it clear they want a Speaker who will stand up to President Obama’s veto threats. Several members also said they want more time to read legislation before votes, and not to be punished for voting their conscience on behalf of their constituents.

“We have emasculated ourselves,” Rep. Justin Amash said about how the House hasn’t stood firm on conservative principles.

“We can’t forfeit before the game starts,” Jordan added.

Breitbart News asked if the fact that Chaffetz was the one who removed Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) from his subcommittee chairmanship because he voted his conscience has been discussed by the conservative group or if it is water under the bridge.

Rep. Andy Harris said that has been discussed, adding, “Individual members will make up their mind about it.” Harris went on to say Chaffetz entered the race just two days ago, and that is significant.

“That’s an indication that I think leadership gets the marginalizing of conservatives that has taken place the last nine months won’t be tolerated anymore,” he said. “They know that something has to be done for this to work out at the end.”

Rep. Thomas Massie – who has publically stated he will support Webster – told the crowd, “McCarthy is absolutely not an option.”

He said that replacing Boehner with McCarthy will continue dysfunction in Congress, adding that McCarthy’s comments on Benghazi may have disqualified him as Majority Leader too – not just as Speaker of the House.

Massie was referring to statements McCarthy made about the House Select Committee on Benghazi and how Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers have dropped — a message that Clinton and the Democrats have used to try to politicize the existence of the Benghazi committee.

Massie said constituents won’t be happy if Boehner is replaced by his right hand man, McCarthy.


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