What Are the Motivations of the 20 Holdouts Against McCarthy?

In this screengrab from video, Rep. Chip Roy addresses the House of Representatives on Jan. 3, 2023.

By Bunni Pounds Published on January 6, 2023

The mainstream media and even some conservative media are accusing the House Freedom Caucus members and the new conservative Rep.-elects who are standing against the election of Kevin McCarthy as being irresponsible. They are saying the 20 should unite the party and get on with the “people’s business.” But what is the people’s business? 

Is the people’s business more $1.7 trillion, 4,100-page omnibus bills that are brought to the floor of the House with only 48 hours to go through them? Democrat and Republican leadership brought back earmarks after a House earmark moratorium and now the latest bill to fund the government contains 7,234 earmarks equaling 45 billion dollars.

We are dealing with a broken House where leadership is king and individual members of Congress have very little power other than getting in line and voting for whatever bills are pushed by the leadership. They have very little time — if any — for debate.

What if these members are really the ones who understand the severity of the hour in which we live? What if they were the ones that understand that if we continue with business as usual, nothing will ever change?

Pure Motives

Knowing personally three of these men who are among the 20 holdups, I would submit that though not all of these twenty Rep.- elects have completely pure motives, some of them do.

I served as campaign manager for Congressman Michael Cloud, TX-27. An Oral Roberts graduate, Michael is a man of faith, a former media director from his church, and carries to Capitol Hill strong convictions. He came into Congress during a special election in 2018 and watched Republican leadership squander their majority in a lame duck session — doing nothing. He wants change in Washington, D.C., for the citizens of this nation.

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I organized campaign volunteers for Congressman Chip Roy, TX-21. Chip was elected in 2018, taking office after serving as the Chief of Staff for Sen. Ted Cruz and working for Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. John Cornyn. Chip Roy is considered one of the most brilliant members of Congress who understands not only the rules and parliamentary procedures, but is also a movement conservative respected all over our state and now the nation.

He has railed in his House speeches against bloated and out-of-control government spending since the day he arrived in Congress.

Rep.-elect Keith Self, TX-03, served as a member of the Army Special Forces and Army Rangers and is a strong Christian. While serving as County Judge in Collin County, Self boldly pushed back on county spending. (County Judges in Texas are similar to County Executives in other states.)

Keith Self understands the threat of government on our individual lives and families.

Tired of Dysfunction

Though I don’t know all the House Republicans who are leading this charge, most of them are doing it out of a heart to see this sinking ship uprighted. They believe the answer is found in pushing for rule changes, inclusion at the table, more debate, no more Omnibus bills, and an agreement with GOP leadership to stop targeting conservatives in primaries.

Negotiations continued late into the night, with whispers a deal has been reached that may push Kevin McCarthy over the top. Balloting is scheduled to resume at noon.

We will see if McCarthy will be able to recover from this debate. We will see if he will negotiate in good faith without smearing these members behind the scenes. We will see if another candidate arises, but I would encourage Americans to not condemn these members without thinking through the reality of the day that we live in and the brokenness within the House of Representatives.  

If you had to live in the dysfunction of Congress and campaigned on your concern for the next generation who will be bankrupt by this out-of-control reckless government spending — might you be on the floor of the U.S. House doing the same thing?

With respect to others who might disagree, I would argue that it is good for the nation. 

The House will still be standing after a few days of debate.

 

Bunni Pounds is president of Christians Engaged. She is a former congressional candidate, 15-year political consultant and motivational speaker.

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