Republican Nebraska Rep.-elect Don Bacon said Thursday that the Republicans voting against Speaker-designate Kevin McCarthy are “embarrassing our country” and the GOP.
Bacon, a supporter of McCarthy, criticized the 20 members who have opposed handing McCarthy the gavel. McCarthy has yet to receive the 218 votes required to become speaker at the time of writing.
“We can’t back down to twenty people who are holding the rest of the House captive, or hostage. So, there will be no backing down for Kevin, I believe. Now, hopefully at some point, with pressure from their constituents, when they see that the House business is not being done, we hope to see a shift in these folks to come back with a majority and become part of the team. That should be the primary focus right now, is to get more of these folks on our team,” Bacon told Fox News anchors.
“We’ll see some results, I believe, today or tomorrow, in that area. But people have got to tell their congressmen if they’re one of those twenty, that the House is shut down and we’re not working on the issues that we campaigned on, like lowering inflation, securing the border, supporting our law enforcement [and] standing up to China,” he continued.
“None of this is happening. All our committees are now shut down, and it’s on these twenty people. They’re embarrassing the House, they’re embarrassing the Republicans, they’re embarrassing our country,” Bacon added.
He then said the Republicans will have to negotiate with Democratic representatives in order to create concessions and potentially get some of them to support McCarthy if “these twenty refuse to budge.” Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept on Tuesday that her party would not bail McCarthy out, despite rumors. (RELATED: Lauren Boebert Stands Up To Trump, Calls McCarthy Endorsement A Mistake)
Nineteen Republicans opposed electing McCarthy for speaker when the House cast its first ballot Tuesday. McCarthy received 203 votes in the first round and Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, his previous challenger, garnered 10. Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Chip Roy of Texas nominated Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan in the second and third rounds.
Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds switched his vote from McCarthy to Jordan on the third ballot, later telling CNN “very little” negotiations were agreed upon between Republicans and McCarthy. Gaetz nominated former President Donald Trump on Thursday after saying he would do so at a Trump rally in March. The Florida representative previously criticized Trump for endorsing McCarthy.
Republican Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz voted present during Wednesday and Thursday’s votes.