‘Couldn’t Lead In The Minority’: Rep. Matt Rosendale Blasts McCarthy’s Speaker Bid

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republican Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale argued in a Wednesday op-ed that GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid for Speaker of the House would not offer a meaningful change from the lower chamber’s status quo.

Rosendale is one of five House Republicans who have publicly opposed a McCarthy speakership. With a 222-seat majority, McCarthy can only afford to lose four votes on the House floor if he is to be elected speaker. Thirty-one members of the House Republican Conference voted for Rep. Andy Biggs’ Speaker candidacy in November, and the Arizonan is running again on the chamber floor.

“If Kevin McCarthy couldn’t lead in the minority, he doesn’t have the ability to serve as Speaker of the House. We need a Speaker who is strong enough to get things done with a Democrat-controlled White House and can unite the Republican Party,” Rosendale wrote in the Billings Gazette.

Many conservative Republicans have expressed concern with House rules that they view as granting too much power to chamber leadership. Members of the Freedom Caucus have called for more time for members to read bills, the empowerment of committees and a strengthened motion to vacate the chair. They also failed to reinstate an earmark ban.

“These ideas aren’t new — many of these rules were in effect before Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker. The proposed rule changes would restore basic elements to create a properly functioning legislature and guarantee that all Americans are represented,” Rosendale added. (RELATED: REPORT: Rep. Henry Cuellar Rejects McCarthy’s Invitation To Switch Parties)

In addition to Rosendale and Biggs, Virginia Rep. Bob Good, South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz have all publicly come out against McCarthy. All except Gaetz are members of the Freedom Caucus.