Fox News hosts John Roberts and Sandra Smith grilled Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida Wednesday over the challenge to Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid to be speaker of the House of Representatives.
“First of all, what can Kevin McCarthy do to earn back the support of the majority of the 21 members now who have voted against him?” Roberts asked Donalds. “This idea of one person being able to raise a motion to vacate the chair, I don’t know how you can lead or govern with that hanging over your head all the time.”
“Let me explain,” Donalds said after Roberts interrupted him about the “inside baseball” of the “motion to vacate.” “It has been the rule in Congress [for] more than 100 years that any member could do that. Nancy Pelosi got rid of that rule, so as Republicans are we saying we have to live under the rules of Nancy Pelosi, that’s the only way to govern Washington?”
Roberts pointed out that McCarthy agreed to allow any five members of the House of Representatives to offer the motion to vacate, part of a series of proposals from the Freedom Caucus that McCarthy supported in an effort to receive the 218 votes necessary to win the speakership. However, McCarthy’s concessions failed to convince the holdouts as the House of Representatives went into a second day of balloting for speaker.
“Let be very clear, Republican voters have not been happy with party leadership across the board. You saw what happened in the Senate, Ronna McDaniel is having a challenge from Harmeet Dhillon about who’s going to be the next head of the RNC and a challenge here in the House of Representatives,” Donalds said, after saying the situation would have been different had Republicans not underperformed in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, where a “red wave” failed to materialize.
“These leadership challenges are a good thing for the party and they’re actually a good thing for America,” Donalds continued. “The days of just power by acclimation, those days are over. It needs to be earned and that’s the thing people need to understand and be communicated effectively.”
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