Arizona political experts react to latest House speaker votes
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- For the second straight day, Republicans could not agree on who should become speaker of the House. Representative Kevin McCarthy, the frontrunner from California, still wasn’t able to reach the required 218 votes after the sixth round of voting. “Washington’s broken,” Arizona Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ 04) said. “We’re the last ones to know.”
Gosar, along with fellow Arizonans Andy Biggs (R-AZ 05) and newly-elected Eli Crane (R-AZ 02), originally voted for Biggs before switching their votes to Ohio Representative Jim Jordan and, most recently, Florida Representative Byron Donalds.
Former Arizona Representative John Shadegg says these actions send a message to the Republican majority endorsing McCarthy. “What they’re just saying is, we want change,” Shadegg said. “We want him out, and somebody else in.”
Shadegg ran for House Majority Leader in 2006, where votes for him ultimately shifted to John Boehner. He says leadership back then ensured the current situation never became a reality. “Newt Gingrich would have never allowed this to happen,” Shadegg said. “He would have negotiated this in advance. I think they are making the Republican Party look very bad. It looks like the party of clowns or the party that can’t get the job done.”
But Arizona political consultant Stan Barnes says having two radically different groups of Republicans forces the party to adapt and move forward. “It’s a very important thing for outcomes in the lawmaking process of the United States Congress,” he said.
Barnes is surprised about newly-elected Arizona Representative Crane going against the majority and joining Biggs and Gosar as three of the 20 votes opposing McCarthy. In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Crane says he “promised to fight against the status quo of weak, out-of-touch leadership in Washington.”
But Shadegg says ultimately, the two sides have to work together. He says the sooner, the better. “The only negotiations that work are those that make it look like both sides won,” he said.
The House will come back together tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. MT.
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