Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of Congress (Republican from California), addresses the House of Representatives after being elected Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives. This was his first appearance as Speaker of the House following his election in a late-night 15th round of voting during the fourth day of the 118th Congress at Washington’s U.S. Capitol. January 7, 2023.
Newly elected U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy took the gavel of the chamber after a bruising weeklong battle within his own party, promising to carry out a conservative, America-first agenda, tackling the immigration crisis at the Mexican border, cutting back funding at the IRS and fixing “woke indoctrination in our schools.”
After 14 failed votes on Tuesday, the California Republican was able overcome opposition. He made extraordinary concessions to a small group of far-right protesters who refused to vote for him as speaker.
McCarthy laid out a bold plan for the 118th Congress session. He said he wants “to be the check and provide some balanced” to President Joe Biden’s policies. McCarthy stated that he will first tackle legislation to repeal funding for more 87,000 IRS agents. He highlighted immigration reform as a top priority, saying the Republican-controlled House will hold some of its first hearings of the year at the Southern border.
He said, “No more ignoring the crisis of safety or sovereignty.” “We must secure the border.”
Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of Congress (Republican from California), bangs the Speaker’s gavel after being elected as the next Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected in a late night 15th-round voting session on the fourth day of 118th Congress at Washington’s U.S Capitol. January 7, 2023.
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters
McCarthy stated that he will pass bills to fix “urgent problems” in the nation using an America-first approach. McCarthy stated that he would address immigration in addition to energy policies. He also said he wanted to end “America-Last,” indoctrination in schools and “America-Last” energy policies.
He stated that he also plans to address long-term problems like debt and Chinese Communist Party.
McCarthy claimed that McCarthy is not one to give up easily, and the House floor drama this week was proof.
“You know – my father always told me: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” he said. “Now we must finish strong for our American citizens.”
McCarthy stated that although his election was the culmination of a long, difficult week in Washington, it was also a new beginning.
Republican members-elect celebrated as Kevin McCarthy (R.I.P.) was elected Speaker of Congress in the House Chamber, U.S. Capitol Building on January 7, 2023 in Washington DC.
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Biden congratulated McCarthy on his election as House Speaker in a statement issued shortly before 1 a.m. ET.
“Jill and I congratulate Kevin McCarthy on his election as Speaker of the House,” said Biden. He said, “I am ready to work alongside Republicans whenever I can, and voters made it clear that they expect Republicans will be willing to work with them as well.”
After McCarthy’s win, other Democratic leaders were less happy.
Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y. Senate Majority Leader) tweeted Saturday that Speaker McCarthy’s dream job could become a nightmare for Americans.
Cori Bush of Missouri, House Democrat, said that the GOP elected Cori Bush as its speaker. This enabled the violent rebellion at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“McCarthy sold out his gavel like he sold out our democracy—to white supremacist insurrectionists,” she said in a tweet Saturday. “That’s not leadership.”
McCarthy thanked Donald Trump at a press conference on Saturday morning for his support. He said that he was vital in securing the last votes McCarthy needed.
McCarthy stated, “I don’t believe he should, anybody should question his influence.” McCarthy stated, “He was always there for me from the beginning.”
Trump publicly supported McCarthy via Truth Social Saturday on social media. Former President Trump said that the Republican Party had come together and that it was “a beautiful, beautiful thing to witness.”
He said, “The Speaker’s selection process, however crazy it may seem, has made them all the bigger and more important than if they were done in a more traditional way.” “Congratulations Kevin McCarthy and the GREAT Republican Party!”
Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Leader, also supported McCarthy Saturday. saying in a tweet Senate Republicans are looking forward to working together.
McCarthy’s first task as speaker was to swear-in the remaining 433 members of Congress. These members had been in limbo since Tuesday, the first day of the 118th Congress opened. After swearing in all new members, the House approved the revised rules that McCarthy had negotiated with hard-right Republicans.
McCarthy stated that it was difficult to negotiate given the narrow margins of the majority. However, his win shows that the Republican Party can work together.
He stated, “I believe what you will see if we have this now is that we’ve worked out together how to work.”
— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie Contributed to this report