McCarthy Engages in Heated Exchange with Reporter, Attributes ‘Chaos’ to Democrats

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) engaged in a spirited discussion with reporters on Friday regarding the ongoing challenges facing the House, and he placed blame on Democratic members for creating what he termed “chaos in Congress.”

Following the nomination of House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for the top position on Friday evening, lawmakers adjourned for the weekend without bringing a vote to the House floor.

During the exchange with CNN’s Manu Raju, McCarthy was asked about whether acting Speaker Patrick Henry (R-N.C.) should assume more authority given the House’s current divisiveness, which has impeded Congressional progress. McCarthy avoided directly addressing the question and instead shifted the blame to Democrats for the turmoil surrounding the Speakership.

McCarthy remarked, “They’ve effectively obstructed and introduced chaos into Congress. They’ve also hindered our ability to maintain continuity in Congress, which I believe is a significant issue. This is a result of what the Democrats have done.”

Jordan’s nomination for Speaker occurred ten days after McCarthy was removed from the role by eight Republicans and all Democrats in a historic vote. This development followed Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) withdrawing from the race due to insufficient Republican support.

When Raju pressed McCarthy on how this recent “episode” reflects on the GOP, McCarthy asserted that Democrats did not want to fund military members in government shutdown negotiations, leading to his removal.

Regarding the fate of the 18 Republicans representing swing districts that President Biden won in 2020, McCarthy contended that it would illustrate that “all the Democrats voted to try to bring chaos.”

Raju interjected, stating, “You guys can’t govern,” and highlighting that all House legislation is currently on hold without a permanent Speaker.

In response, McCarthy stumbled over his words and stated that Republicans had achieved legislative accomplishments such as passing the Parents’ Bill of Rights, securing the border, and achieving energy independence. He also remarked on the Democrats’ internal disputes, particularly regarding their stance on supporting Israel.

Raju continued to press McCarthy, mentioning that Republicans were unable to act on the aid package to Israel due to the current gridlock.

As it currently stands, Jordan received 152 votes, surpassing Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), who entered a last-minute bid, but falling short of the 217 votes required to secure the Speaker’s gavel.

Jordan will face Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) on the House floor if he can garner sufficient support from the remaining GOP members.