North Carolina Republican Rep. Dan Bishop said the prolonged battle over the Speaker of the House helped the GOP “advance the ball.”
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Bishop said that the democratic process in America requires that a minority be able to challenge the majority and have their concerns addressed. Bishop was one of the 20 Republican lawmakers who initially fought Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become Speaker.
During the discussion, Bishop dismissed the idea that unanimity is a virtue, referencing the Democrats uniting behind New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
“Hakeem Jeffries… he celebrated the unanimity of the Democrats,” he said. “President Xi [Jinping] likes unanimity in China as well. That’s not the nature of American democracy, in my view.”
“By having an opportunity for a group to raise questions and to make sure that we addressed them, we actually have advanced the ball,” he added. “We’re not going to be having very elemental disagreements pop up over and over again across the course of this Congress because we didn’t get the job done ahead of time. We have. Now we’re going to work for the American people.”
Later in the interview, Bishop rejected the idea that Republicans should accede to the demands of Senate Democrats and President Joe Biden because they only control one chamber of Congress. Instead, he said the House GOP needs to show conviction and resolve.
“Republicans should make sure we fulfill our responsibilities to voters who elected a majority of Republicans,” he said. “Democrats have shown greater will in previous times when we’ve had divided government. That can’t be the case. We’ve got to show will also on behalf of the voters that sent us to Washington to fight for them.”
Bishop was one of 20 initial GOP holdouts who refused to support McCarthy for Speaker of the House. The others included Lauren Boebert (CO), Byron Donalds (FL), Josh Brecheen (OK), Mike Cloud (TX), Andrew Clyde (GA), Eli Crane (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), Bob Good (VA), Paul Gosar (AZ), Andy Harris (MD), Anna Paulina Luna (FL), Mary Miller (IL), Ralph Norman (SC), Andy Ogles (TN), Scott Perry (PA), Matt Rosendale (MT), Chip Roy (TX), Keith Self (TX), and Andy Biggs (AZ). After 14 of the holdouts flipped to support him, McCarthy was finally elected on Friday.
That support only came after McCarthy gave a long list of concessions, which included votes on key conservative policy priorities, significant rules changes, a Church-style Committee to investigate the politicization of the FBI, and a promise for the McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund to stop spending money in “open-seat primaries in safe Republican districts.”
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