Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., on Friday dispelled hope that some ‘Never Kevin’ members-elect opposed to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., becoming speaker of the House of Representatives would change their minds despite the concessions the latter was willing to make to earn their support.
‘It’s simply personal,’ Greene told Fox New Digital ahead of the 12th round of voting by members-elect seeking to end the days long process of selecting a new speaker.
McCarthy fell short of reaching a majority of votes to become speaker in the first 11 ballots as he and his allies have worked feverishly to round up support from the 20 detractors of the House Freedom Caucus voting against him.
The party held a conference call Friday morning ahead of the session to try and assure members of concessions McCarthy was making and make a final attempt to show progress for his candidacy — something Greene said wasn’t anything new.
‘To be honest, pretty much everything that was talked about were all things that had been talked about,’ she said, before noting that one of the most talked about concessions — moving the motion to vacate a sitting speaker from five votes to one vote — wasn’t ‘a big deal’ because of the number of members already challenging McCarthy’s potential speakership.
‘Twenty members are proving that five is plenty because they’re already preemptively vacating the chair by stopping Kevin McCarthy from reaching 218,’ she said.
When asked if any progress had been made on convincing some of the 20 detractors to flip their votes, Greene pointed to McCarthy’s plan to lead the House should he end up becoming speaker.
‘I believe that the agenda that Kevin McCarthy has laid out is the most conservative agenda that we will have seen from any Republican speaker, or potential speaker, for decades,’ she said. ‘His willingness to give us free rain into investigations and subpoena power on the issues that he’s given are a big reason why I’m supporting him.’
Greene added that she was also supporting McCarthy because of his conservative stance on budgetary issues and overspending in Washington, as well as his desire to reach a balanced budget.
‘That is something that I think, especially, the new freshman Freedom Caucus members just don’t know about Kevin McCarthy, because they’ve only heard the attacks on him because they’ve been listening to Scott Perry, Chip Roy, Matt Gaetz and others,’ she said. ‘So I hope that was refreshing and, if it was new information for them, something they can take and really feel good about.’
‘I think that this needs to happen. It’s dragging out simply because there are members in the group of 20 that are just ‘Never Kevin.’ It’s simply personal. And I’m completely against that,’ Greene added. ‘It’s not about Kevin McCarthy, it’s about an agenda, it’s about our majority, and it’s about doing the job that I promised Georgia’s 14th District I would do.’
Despite her belief that some of those detractors would never flip to McCarthy, Greene was hopeful for the Friday session.
‘I’m hoping that we see progress, and I feel pretty optimistic about it. But again, you know what? We just have to wait and see what happens,’ she said.
McCarthy ultimately gained the support of 13 of the 20 detractors on Friday in the 12th round of voting, but still fell short of the amount required to become speaker. The massive shift in support will likely put pressure on the seven remaining representatives-elect opposed to McCarthy to reach some sort of consensus.