LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – After Speaker Kevin McCarthy was fired, Arkansas’s representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives spoke out quickly.
After a motion by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), McCarthy was voted out of his position as House Speaker on Tuesday afternoon by a vote of 216 to 210. Gaetz and other hard-line conservatives criticized McCarthy for relying on Democrat votes to pass the temporary spending bill that kept the government open on Saturday.
The Arkansas delegation had already spoken out in favor of the spending bill, and they all voted against the plan to get rid of the speaker. Rep. Steve Womack, who was in charge of the vote that decided what would happen to McCarthy, said that the Tuesday proceedings were “reckless.”
“Arkansans sent me to Washington to stop the Biden-Pelosi agenda, secure the border, and lower costs for families, but most of all to govern responsibly,” Womack said. “This selfish move to get rid of the Speaker throws off everything we are doing for the American people. It is completely irresponsible, doesn’t help, and takes our attention away from what we should be doing. This political noise from a small number of members is making it hard to finish needed appropriations and keep moving conservative policies forward. It’s bad for America, and I’m very sad about what happened today.”
Rep. Bruce Westerman spoke on the floor just before the vote to get rid of McCarthy to say that he was against the move. Later, he wrote about his disagreement on social media.
“Voting for the chairholder to step down is selfish, bad for conservative policies, and bad for the country as a whole. He said, “I strongly support @SpeakerMcCarthy.” “Because of this, I’m sure I’ll vote no on this terrible resolution.”
Rep. French Hill said he was upset in a statement after the vote on Tuesday.
Hill said, “I’m very upset that Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s job as Speaker of the House was taken away today.” “Speaker McCarthy has had a lot of success in his nine months as Speaker, including some of the most conservative spending cuts and policies in history. I’m proud of what he’s done and thankful for what he’s done for this body and our country.
Hill also talked about how long it takes to pass an appropriations bill. She reminded everyone that the continuing resolution that was passed on Saturday only lasts for 45 days.
Rep. Rick Crawford also defended McCarthy on social media on Monday, calling the effort to get rid of the speaker a “circus act” that takes attention away from what the Republican from northeast Arkansas called the “failures” of President Joe Biden.
“The motion to vacate circus act is a ridiculous sideshow that distracts from important issues facing our constituents and lets [President] Biden avoid scrutiny for his refusal to protect our borders, his disastrous Bidenflation, and his dangerous Iran giveaways, among other failures,” he said. He later added, “House Republicans are weaker against the Democrat White House and Senate because a small group is sabotaging conservative policies.”
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina) has been named speaker pro tempore until the House votes on a new speaker.