Rosendale aligned with GOP ‘hardliners’ in opposing McCarthy, angering Republicans
(Missoula Current) In the ninth round of voting for a new speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, Rep. Matt Rosendale described the body's current system as broken and demanded change by withholding his vote Kevin McCarthy.
In doing so, he drew fire from a majority of House Republicans who accused Rosendale and 19 other party members of pandering for soundbites, raising money off the discord they were creating, and stalling the work that Congress was sent to the Capitol to do.
Rosendale delivered a lengthy speech in the ninth round of voting, which played out Thursday afternoon and failed once again to give a single nominee the 218 votes needed to serve as Speaker.
In doing so, Rosendale nominated his own choice, that being Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Florida. Donalds garnered just 17 votes while McCarthy remained the Republican choice by earning 201 votes, still short of those needed to win the job.
“The voices sent here to equally represent each of the 435 districts across this nation have become diminished,” Rosendale said. “This through the consolidation of power into the hands of the Speaker and a fortunate few who happen to serve on the rules committee, which controls every aspect of legislation that travels through this body.”
Rosendale said debate and deliberation in the House over the past 15 years has been eliminated from the legislative process, leaving the balance of Congress to vote yes or no on bills. He pushed for more legislative transparency and single-subject bills “so we don't have 4,000 page documents we're given a matter of hours to review.”
He also said members of Congress should have the right to put forth amendments to bills, so long as they were germane to the subject.
“These are common-sense amendments that would restore the process and give each of us equal voice,” Rosendale said. “This is how we're going to secure the boarder. This is how we're going regain energy dominance again. This is how we're going to reduce the inflation rate, by working together. You can't call it working together if you cede all that power to the hands of a few.”
Rosendale and Rep. Ryan Zinke, also of Montana, have split their vote during each round of voting, with Zinke supporting McCarthy for Speaker.
GOP losing patience with holdouts
With Rosendale aligning with a slim number of GOP hardliners, many Republicans have begun losing patience with the small group of “rebels.”
“We cannot allow 20 people to hold us hostage and act as political terrorist,” Rep. Don Bacon, R-Nebraska. “It's an embarrassment to us, our political party, and our nation. We need to put a spotlight on what's not happening because of this small group. They've shut down the House. They've derailed the conservative agenda.”
Rosendale has aligned with Lauren Boebert, a controversial far-right Republican who narrowly won her November race representing Colorado's eastern district.
Boebart also took to the floor after Rosendale on Thursday.
“McCarthy doesn't have the votes. It is not happening,” she said. “We need to get to a point where we start evaluating what life after Kevin McCarthy looks like. This isn't chaos. It's a constitutional Republic.”
Rosendale has fallen under recent scrutiny at home for declining interviews with Montana media while at the same time racing to the national airwaves. Still, he closed his speech Thursday by reflecting on his days as a developer and the hard work it involved.
Like his projects, he said, he also had a vision for Washington, D.C.
“That we can restore regular order so each of us have the ability to represent our districts and our constituents equally as we move through this process,” Rosendale said. “At that time, we'll be able to call it truly the People's House again.”