Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

On Wednesday, the members of the House of Representatives gathered in the lower chamber to take the fourth vote in the contested contest for Speaker of the House. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who was once perceived to have the speakership locked, has suffered from opposition from 20 Republicans who have demanded a change from the status quo in Washington.

Following the prayer, the pledge of allegiance, and a check requested by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to ensure the House had a  quorum, the representatives got down to business for the fourth vote for Speaker of the House.

McCarthy was nominated to the speakership for the fourth vote by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI). Rep. Gallagher explained that many are frustrated by the events of the previous day, but that he is grateful to serve his constituents in Congress: “I know last night people were frustrated…but in some ways I know there is no place I’d rather be.”

“Democracy is messy by design and that is a feature not a bug of our system,” he said. “At the end of the day, the president is not in charge, the supreme court is not in charge, even the speaker of the house is not in charge. The American people are in charge.”

“Mr. Roy from Texas knows that I respect his views,” the Wisconsin representative explained. “I understand, I know that his intentions are pure. I know that people are frustrated about how Congress works but nobody had laid out a plan for how we restore the basic functioning of this institution than Kevin McCarthy. Nobody.”


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Gallagher then went on to argue that McCarthy has done more than anyone to listen to the 20 Republicans and to gain a majority through his efforts in the midterm elections. He also argued that nobody has laid out a more detailed plan for the future Congress than the Republican leader.

Following Gallagher’s nomination, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) nominated Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) for Speaker. Throughout his speech, Roy emphasized that Washington needs to change and the American people need to be listened to. He then emphasized that representatives should be having debates about issues like Ukraine with as much energy as is currently enveloping the lower chamber.

To change that, Roy proposed changing House rules to require more debate and “stand up to the swamp.” He then ended his speech by asking his fellow Republicans if the American people want the maintenance of the status quo. Roy believes that his constituents want a change in direction.

In the third vote, 20 Republicans voted in opposition to McCarthy, an increase of one vote from the second ballot. Kevin McCarthy received 202 votes, Rep. Hakeen Jefferies (D-NY) received 212 votes, and Rep. Jim Jordan received 20 votes.

It is still undetermined whether or not McCarthy will be able to gain the 218 votes needed to be elected to the Speakership, but Americans are watching.

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