ENC political leaders weigh in on House Speaker vote

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 7:30 PM EST
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - As congress continues its search for the next House speaker, political leaders here in the east are voicing their opinions.

Over the past 48 hours, U.S. House Republicans have been working to find a new House Speaker. Previous Republican Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, is attempting to fill that role despite losing in multiple rounds of voting that threw the new GOP majority into chaos.

It was the first time in 100 years, a nominee for the House Speaker could not take the gavel on the first vote.

While elected officials continue to sort that out on Capitol Hill, here in the east, the Chairman of the Pitt County Republican Party, Gary Weaver, hopes there’s unity in the coming days.

“Right now the Republican Party is not unified and we need to work it out in front of the American people,” Weaver said. “If they can’t work it out then they need to come together and decide what’s the deal and what they need to do.”

McCarthy hasn’t been able to secure the speakership, even with former President Donald Trump calling for Republicans to rally around him Wednesday morning.

Weaver says he respects every party member’s decision to not vote for McCarthy, but unity is the main priority.

“That’s up to them,” Weaver said. “I would just say they need to work it out in front of the American people and let’s get together and get it going.”

Meanwhile, the Vice Chair of the Pitt County Democratic Party, Ann Huggins, believes the division within the Republican Party isn’t a good sign.

“Them not being able to get that done really says something for them. They have problems governing. They can campaign they have problems governing.”

Huggins worries that if unity doesn’t happen soon, no work could get done on Capitol Hill in 2023.

If McCarthy could win 213 votes, and then persuade the remaining opposition to simply vote present, he could lower the threshold required under the rules to have the majority.

Democrats enthusiastically nominated Hakeem Jeffries, who is taking over as party leader, as their choice for Speaker. He won the most votes overall, 212.