Biden Congratulates McCarthy on Speakership, Says He Wants to Work Across the Aisle

President Joe Biden gives a thumbs up (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images) // Inset: Rep. Kevi
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images // Inset: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Joe Biden congratulated House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on being elected to the position Saturday, saying he is ready to work across the aisle in a divided government.

“The American people expect their leaders to govern in a way that puts their needs above all else, and that is what we need to do now,” Biden said in a statement, congratulating him on his speakership.

“As I said after the midterms, I am prepared to work with Republicans when I can and voters made clear that they expect Republicans to be prepared to work with me as well,” he added. “Now that the leadership of the House of Representatives has been decided, it is time for that process to begin.”

McCarthy was elected speaker on the fifteenth round of voting, which finished shortly after midnight Saturday after a week of negotiations with Republican defectors and a dramatic Friday of voting. McCarthy received 216 votes, and House Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) received 212 votes. Six of the defecting Republicans voted “present,” which lowered the voting total.

As Breitbart News’s Ashley Oliver noted, there has been no speaker race that has gone 15 rounds or more in 163 years. The last time it took more than nine ballots was in 1923 when then-Speaker Frederick Gillett was being reelected.

“As the last two years show, we can do profound things for the country when we do them together,” Biden added. “This is a time to govern responsibly and to ensure that we’re putting the interests of American families first.”

During McCarthy’s first address to Congress in the position, he promised to keep his commitment to America. He outlined several policies House Republicans would work on over the next two years in Congress.

McCarthy also promised that the House Republicans’ “very first bill” being brought for a vote would be to repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents that passed the Democrat-controlled Congress last year.

He also noted that the Republican Congress would act as a check on the rest of the government, declaring, “Our system is built on checks and balances. It’s time for us to be a check and provide some balance to the president’s policy.”

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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