LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas members of the U.S. House of Representatives spoke out quickly after the ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy was voted from the position of House Speaker on Tuesday afternoon in a 216 to 210 vote after a motion by conservative hard-liner Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida). Gaetz and other hard-line conservatives faulted McCarthy for relying upon Democrat votes to pass the temporary spending measure on Saturday that kept the government open.
The Arkansas delegation had earlier spoken to support the spending measure, and all voted against the move to vacate the speaker’s office.
Rep. Steve Womack, who actually oversaw the vote that decided McCarthy’s fate, spoke about the “reckless nature” of the Tuesday proceeding.
“Arkansans sent me to Washington to reverse the Biden-Pelosi agenda, secure the border, and lower costs for families—but first and foremost, to govern responsibly,” Womack said. “This selfish action to remove the Speaker upends all our work for the American people. It is utterly irresponsible, counterproductive, and a distraction from our duty. This political ruckus coming from a handful of members is standing in the way of completing needed appropriations and continuing to advance conservative policies. It’s hurtful for America, and I’m incredibly disappointed in today’s result.”
Shortly before the vote to oust McCarthy, Rep. Bruce Westerman spoke on the floor about his opposition to the move. He later posted his opposition on social media.
“A vote to vacate the chair is selfish, bad for conservative policies, and bad for America. I strongly support @SpeakerMcCarthy,” he stated. “That’s why, without hesitation, I will vote no on this disastrous resolution.”
Rep. French Hill defended McCarthy on social media Monday before the vote to remove the speaker.
“@SpeakerMcCarthy has led our Commitment to America and has been scoring wins despite our Senate and White House under Democrat control,” Hill statedd. “Under his strong leadership, House Republicans are cutting trillions in spending and bringing conservative policies back to the House. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.”
Rep. Rick Crawford also stood up for McCarthy on social media Monday, calling the push to oust the speaker a “circus act” that takes focus off of what the northeast Arkansas Republican said were “failures” of President Joe Biden.
“The motion to vacate circus act is a ridiculous sideshow that ignores critical issues facing our constituents and lets [Pres.] Biden avoid scrutiny for his refusal to protect our borders, his disastrous Bidenflation, and his dangerous Iran giveaways, among other failures,” he stated, later adding, “House Republicans are weaker against the Democrat White House and Senate because a small handful are sabotaging conservative policies.”
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina) has been appointed speaker pro tempore pending the House’s vote on a new speaker.