A Republican congressman and chairman of the influential Freedom Caucus told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday that he stands by his vote to oust Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House despite the chamber’s challenges since then.
Republican Rep. Bob Good of Virginia was one of eight members who voted with all Democrats to vacate the chair and remove McCarthy from office on Oct. 3 after Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida brought a resolution to do so. Even as that decision precipitated a three-week process to elect a new speaker and McCarthy’s departure from Congress, narrowing the Republicans’ House majority, Good argues that his removal has paid off in terms of policy.
“It was the right decision … the challenges that we have with the calendar and the appropriations process are a direct result of the failed leadership that he showed,” Good told the DCNF on a phone call Monday. “He could have brought to a vote all 12 spending bills before the August District Work Period, but he didn’t do it … that’s what ultimately led to his departure.”
The House has only passed seven appropriations bills out of 12 needed to fund the government, whose provisions have been opposed by senators and the Biden administration. After the House passed a second continuing resolution in November, with similar funding levels as its predecessor on Sept. 30, House Speaker Mike Johnson vowed to ensure House Republicans would not need to do so again, though the House will only have ten days to do so when it returns on Jan. 9 before a partial government shutdown after Jan. 19.
“We’ve passed seven bills despite working to elect a new speaker. The Senate has only passed three such bills. We’ve been more efficient than the Senate,” said Good regarding the House’s pace of work. “We can pass legislation with one vote in the House. The House has been passing legislation even with 217 votes, such as with H.R. 2,” Good said, referring to the House’s border security legislation passed in May.
With McCarthy’s departure and the expulsion of Rep. George Santos of New York on Dec. 1, House Republicans will have a majority of two seats in the chamber, a narrowing of their four-vote majority at the beginning of the year.
“The Democrats in the previous Congress managed to pass significant and substantial legislation because they were united behind taking this country to the left. It should be the mission of the Republican conference be united in doing the things we were sent here to do,” Good said, citing cuts to spending as being one such priority.
“Speaker McCarthy didn’t do that and disregarded the objectives of the conference.”
Good indicated some disagreements with Johnson’s leadership on a few matters, such as the National Defense Authorization Act, with many conservative provisions being rescinded from the conference version passed by the House and Senate this month. “I voted against the NDAA. It didn’t have our policy changes that we proposed last summer and had a FISA extension,” he said.
Good remained optimistic that Johnson could deliver wins on policy priorities. “Under Speaker Johnson, we’re going to reform FISA and stand strong on our Israel supplemental proposal as well as H.R. 2 as our border security bill. He has the chance to meet the moment.”
Arjun Singh on December 18, 2023