Montana U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale and a handful of fellow Republican lawmakers blocked the election of GOP leader Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker in three votes Tuesday.
McCarthy became the first representative in 100 years to be nominated by the majority party yet fail to secure the office within two rounds of voting. Lawmakers voted three times Tuesday before calling it a day. McCarthy, a California Republican who previously served as minority leader, needed 218 votes to secure the speakership, but fell 15 votes short on the first two votes, then fell to 202 votes after losing a supporter in a third round.
Ahead of the vote, Rosendale took his case to cable news.
“We gave Kevin McCarthy opportunities over the last two years to demonstrate leadership skill, whether it was the (continuing resolution to keep the government running), the (National Defense Authorization Act), the so-called infrastructure bill, we put him in a position where he could have negotiated some common sense reforms, and he failed on every measure,” Rosendale said on “Fox and Friends Weekend.” “We presented, many of us, amendments that we wanted to try and implement. Once again, he refused to speak with us.”