Congressman Mike Lawler released the following statement after news broke that Congressman Jim Jordan would not be seeking a third vote today.
“The decision two weeks ago by a small handful of Republicans to join with Hakeem Jeffries and 208 Democrats to remove Kevin McCarthy as Speaker was foolish and irresponsible. While everyone in our conference is entitled to have their voice heard, we should never have allowed 3% of our members to drag the other 97% into this ditch.
No political organization can function that way. It’s not healthy or rational.
The mess that ensued has not only prevented us from continuing to address the critical issues impacting the American people — including cutting spending, securing our border, and holding the Biden administration accountable – it has left us in a weakened position to deal with the Iranian-backed terrorist attacks in Israel.
This moment in time is an opportunity for Republicans to demonstrate to the country that they were wise to give us a majority in 2022 and that they should give us the votes to expand it in 2024. We are at risk of letting that opportunity slip away.
While we have many talented members in our conference, it is my sincere belief that Kevin McCarthy is still the only person capable of leading our conference forward and, equally as important, he is currently the only member of our conference capable of winning the 217 votes needed to be Speaker. No, Kevin isn’t perfect, but none of us are. If perfection is our standard, expect to be disappointed.
The best thing that could happen now – for our conference, the House of Representatives, and the country – is for cooler heads to prevail, past grievances to be dropped, and for Republicans to concede that ousting Kevin was a mistake and set things right. We must prove to the American people that we can govern effectively and responsibly, or in 15 months we’ll be debating who the Minority Leader is and preparing for Joe Biden’s second inaugural.
If others disagree with me and believe there is another person in our conference who can get 217 votes, I am certainly open to – and willing to vote for – a viable alternative, but not one who favors shutting down the government or pursuing an agenda that hurts my constituents in the Hudson Valley.
In the absence of an immediate resolution, we must empower Speaker Pro-Tempore Patrick McHenry to serve as Speaker temporarily to allow us to get back to work, move important legislation, while we settle on a permanent Speaker.
I appreciate the fact that many of my constituents across the political spectrum are angry about the chaos and dysfunction they’ve witnessed – I get it and agree with you. I agree that we need to move past this internal party nonsense and get on with the business of the American people.
Speaking directly to members of my own party unhappy with my recent votes, let me shoot straight with you: I have spent my entire adult life working to elect Republicans to local, county, state, and federal offices in New York and across the country. It was quite literally my job before defeating the DCCC Chairman in 2022 and winning this seat.
While the Democratic Party slips further into extremism, radicalism, and socialism, we must come together as Republicans and get back to advancing our core principles of limited government, lower taxes, and individual freedom at home, and peace through strength abroad. History tells us that those principles form the foundation our party is built upon, as well as the future roadmap to being a robust majority party that can consistently win elections, govern boldly and responsibly as conservatives, and strengthen our Republic for generations to come.
In closing, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch famously said, ‘If you agree with me on 9 out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.’
While it was said in jest, he was right. I don’t expect you to agree with me 100% of the time and I can’t promise to agree with you all the time either. But what I can promise is that I will always do my best to represent you and your families, and act in the best interest of my district and our country.”