Several of the eight House Republicans who voted to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., indicated they have no regrets for the move that has led to two weeks without a speaker.
Fox News Digital reached out to the eight Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy from the speakership via Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz’s motion to vacate, asking if they felt responsible for the possible Democrat-backed deal to expand the interim speaker’s power.
Gaetz has since blasted the potential expansion of Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry’s powers in the wake of his motion to vacate as making the interim speaker the “speaker light.”
“I am against ‘speaker light,’ I am against Bud Light,” Gaetz told reporters Thursday. “I believe it is a constitutional desecration not to elect a speaker of the House. We need to stay here until we elect a speaker.”
Arizona Republican Rep. Eli Crane told Fox News Digital that the “only things” he feels “responsible for are representing the voices of the people who sent me here and reversing the course of this Conference so that we can get on a track towards fiscal responsibility and draining the Swamp.”
“The American people want a speaker who will be honest and represent them, not business as usual in Washington,” said Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C. “It is disgraceful for a number of elected officials, many of them in safe GOP districts, to support a plan to empower Democrats.”
“Voting against the will of your constituents is the definition of the swamp,” Mace continued. “We hope the American people see who is standing with them and who is standing with Washington.”
Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana said, “Bringing forward a resolution to grant additional power to a Speaker that is unelected is an attempt by the D.C. Cartel to dismiss the voice of the American people and sets a dangerous precedent.”
“I will not support a resolution that would delay the process of selecting a Speaker and empower someone that was appointed by Kevin McCarthy and not elected by the Republican Conference,” Rosendale added. “That’s why I am urging my colleagues to go back into Conference and work to nominate a candidate immediately, so we can get back to doing the work the American people elected a Republican majority to do.”
The office of Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., did not provide comment on the potential expansion of McHenry’s powers.
Gaetz’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. Neither did GOP Reps. Bob Good of Virginia, Andy Biggs of Arizona, or Tim Burchett of Tennessee.
It’s unclear whether House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan will hold a third vote on his nomination to be speaker of the House of Representatives. Jordan said Thrusday he would back a move to empower McHenry until January, Fox News Digital previously reported.
Jordan lost support on the second ballot Wednesday — winning only 199 votes after getting only 200 in the first ballot Tuesday.
He needed 217 to become speaker, and could afford few Republican defections. Fox News was told he was expected to lose further votes in a ballot on Thursday.
Jordan’s team had said they intended to keep going with a third vote, with supporters optimistic that he could gain support. However, there had also been other potential candidates emerging from the wings amid the stalemate.
Republicans had held a closed-door meeting Thursday morning amid escalating tensions within the House GOP, with several of Jordan’s critics stating that they had gotten credible threats because they did not vote for him for speaker. Jordan has repeatedly condemned those threats.
The House of Representatives will soon recess after a third speaker’s vote was put on hold on Thursday.
Fox News Digital’s Adam Shaw and Brooke Singman contributed reporting.