The Republican Party found itself in chaos on Tuesday when Rep. Kevin McCarthy failed to receive enough votes to secure the House Speaker position. McCarthy told reporters the party is still ‘unified,’ but after tense meetings on Tuesday, Rep. Chip Roy tells Glenn some conservative members of Congress are hardening their anti-McCarthy stance. So what’s going on, and why is it VITAL the correct Republican gets the job? Rep. Chip Roy describes why the battle for the House Speaker position is about ending the D.C. swamp and ultimately about protecting the American people. Plus, Rep. Roy explains what YOU can do to help…
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Chip Roy is with us.
Talk to us about the battle for the Speaker of the House.
Hello, Chip, how are you?
CHIP: Glenn, I'm doing well. We're engaged in yet another series of meetings this morning. We were here until midnight last night at the Capitol, and we will continue to fight for the people that sent us to fight for them.
GLENN: Well, A, I appreciate that. And I hope that America responds. I think the Karl Roves of the world are thinking that people like you, are going to get the a lot of calls and deluge at your office today saying, don't you dare. You'll always be McCarthy. I think the other will happen. Because I'm done, Chip.
When the Senate passed the omnibus bill, I was done. If you guys don't have the freedom to investigate and the teeth and the back bone to actually do things in the interest of all Americans, why did we vote for any Republicans?
CHIP: Well, Glenn, that's the question. That's the central question. People have been asking. What's the message?
And I tried to deliver a message on the floor of the House last night. And what we're fighting for, are the tools and the leadership necessary to stop the swamp from rolling over the average American, who are sick and tired of seeing this town undermine their freedom, spend money we don't have, and continue to violate every promise they've ever made in the campaign. I'm going to come up and I'm going to cut spending. We're going to balance the budget. We're going to secure the border.
Bull. You saw what happened unfold with that ridiculous $1.7 trillion bill.
There was no real significant pushback from the House leadership, when Mitch McConnell stuck it to the American people, made it impossible for us to secure the border.
Took away our leverage. And did it so that the current DC establishment can get what they wanted, in terms of a big spending bill. For the defense complex. And it jammed through something, that the American people didn't want. That's what we have to stop, Glenn. That's what this is about.
GLENN: Okay. So I am with you.
So now, will -- will those of you who are mounting this battle. Is there a compromise, McCarthy can make?
CHIP: So I would have told you 48 hours ago, that the answer to that question was yes. The problem is, that there is a growing group of hard-core no votes against Kevin.
Because of the way things unfolded yesterday, at the Republican Congress meeting. In which Mike Rogers stood up and threatened members from losing their committees.
And when lies were being told about what was behind the motives of members seeking, quote, petty personal privileges, of being on certain committees, which was a total lie.
Because members offered in good faith. All right. Put me on the appropriations committee. I don't want to be on the appropriations committee, but I'll do it. Right?
Or put me on the rules committee. That was me. I said, sure. Put me on the rules committee, as somebody who would do it.
Even though I don't want to fly away from my home and miss my family on Sunday night, and fly here to be here on Monday morning, to accept the rules.
And the rules committee is the funnel through which all things get to the floor.
The fight in 1923, when there were nine rounds of votes for the Speaker. The culmination of that was a complete change of the rules committee because it's so powerful. It's a secret committee kind of. That nobody knows about. That just sits there, and decides what bills get on to the floor. What's in them. And what it looks like. So we had a debate in that. Now people lied about it.
So now you have a bunch of members that are saying, you know what, I can't trust him. I'm not going to be able to vote for the guy.
Now, that being said, Glenn, literally, the conversations I had until midnight last night and this morning, is trying to work in good faith on how to change the institution. I speaking for myself, would there be a path for me to get there?
But the path for me requires us to be able to control the ability -- control the legislation that gets to the floor. And stops something like that omnibus bill in December.
GLENN: So hang on just a second. May I just break this down for idiots like me.
I think what you're saying. Because I was stunned when I saw you all sitting in the chamber yesterday. I say, wow. I haven't seen that since the turn of the century.
The problem is, all of these bills are being done behind closed doors by just a small group, and then it's brought to the floor, not for discussion. But for a vote. Yes or no? And you want that to stop, right?
CHIP: Correct. Correct.
GLENN: Yeah, me too.
CHIP: And we made progress.
And, look, Glenn, this is important.
The progress we've made over the past 60 days to get rules is not because Kevin was standing up, trying to figure out, oh, I've got these great ideas on how to make this place better.
It was because some of us, five in particular, publicly, that were noes said they weren't going to support Kevin. And another seven of us signed a letter saying, here are the things that we want to see change. That forced the conversation to change. Now these guys are running around saying, well, we gave you everything you want. No, you didn't. You gave us some things that would be an improvement. But you didn't give us the key things. Which is necessary to stop big bills, that the defense world and the liberals, among Democrats, jammed through. Remember and consider, Kevin voted in the minority, more Democrats than Republicans multiple bills over the last decade. Since he's been a Republican leadership. The debt has gone from 11 trillion to 32 trillion. He voted, for example --
GLENN: You don't need to -- Roy, I am not for. And I get it.
Tell me what the specifics are, that have to be changed. Because I think people need to know specifically, what are we fighting for?
CHIP: The key thing, that I believe needs to change, is that we have to have people on the rules committee, who reflect the conservatives, who send Republicans to Washington to change the town.
That seems wonky. What is the real message? Is that we need conservatives. Enough conservatives. I'm not saying, put every -- Freedom Caucus member on that.
I'm saying, you need to have actual conservatives, who will stand up, in defense of the American people. From the big spending in this town. Be on the committees, that actually determine, what gets to the floor. Combined with the changes to the rules, that we are partway down the road in getting, of opening up the floor, so we can have amendments and debate on the floor --
GLENN: That is so important.
CHIP: -- so that we can kill this stuff. So we're kind of halfway there. But halfway there, ain't there. And so if they're not going to work with us to get us there, then that's the problem. And yesterday damaged that. And may have created an environment, where there's too many guys here, saying, we can't cut a deal with Kevin. I don't know. That's what we're working through.
GLENN: And is there somebody that you think everybody could agree on?
CHIP: Look, I think there's -- here's the problem. If I go out and say, I think person X is the guy. Then that might poison person X. So like, we're having conversations. I promise you, there are people that would surprise you that are in the sort of center of the world, around McCarthy, who are having conversations openly.
Or, I say openly. I mean privately with us. But having conversations.
But let me give you an example. I nominated yesterday, two guys on the floor. I picked one. Byron Donalds is my first vote.
Why did I pick Byron?
Because Byron is a second-term congressman, who is not sullied by the swamp. Successful businessman. Father. Conservative. He's a friend.
Proven track record. Worked in the -- in the Florida legislature. He's a good man. The Speaker doesn't have to know the ins and outs of the swamp to make it work. And, in fact, we would be great. It would be a breath of fresh air, who doesn't come with a taint of the swamp. So I picked Byron Donalds.
Second, I nominated Jim Jordan. He's been here longer. But he has a history and track record of fighting the swamp. That's the whole point. Kevin doesn't have that, okay?
So if we're cutting a deal with Kevin, we better damn well get the rules that will box him in. Otherwise, you have to have a deal with a leader, who you can trust to break the swamp. To break the cartel, that is destroying our country. Spending money we don't have. Leaving our borders open. Continuing to power bureaucrats that undermine our freedom. We have to stop it, Glenn. The tools we need, have to give us the tools to stop, continuing to do the things we have been doing, over and over again, while every Republican comes back and campaigns. And it comes to this God forsaken town, and throws our country down the drain, and undermines everything that the men and women in uniform has fought so valiantly to save for our kids and grandkids. That's what this is about.
GLENN: Do you have -- are you fighting for, or do you already have enough power of investigation, to be able to answer the questions that must be answered this year. Must be answered.
CHIP: So I would say, we're going way down the path of organizing. And we have to fire and we're ready to go after a lot of the enemies that need to. Jim Jordan and the Judiciary Committee, for example. And we've already been having lots of conversations and meetings. Everyone is freaking out, oh, you don't have the Speaker. It's like, hold on. Twenty-four hours. Forty-eight hours.
The world is not going to implode, if we don't have a Speaker in place, while we try to get it right. But we're ready to go, on a lot of things. You ask me, do we have everything?
I think we need a more aggressive expanded church committee style effort to go after the government.
I think that we got some headway in that. There were some offers to do it. That was -- I think good conversations were going on that. They kind of stalled on Monday night, around other factors. So I think we made headway. And we're in a good place, to be able to do something good with that. But we have a lot more to do.
GLENN: Do you see us -- where it went on for 130 votes.
Do you see us in an 1856 or a 1920s kind of situation?
CHIP: Well, right now, we're through three votes. We will go there in an hour and 15 minutes. We know there will be at least a fourth.
My guess, there might be a fifth or sixth.
And we will continue to have conversations today.
Like I said, Kevin doesn't have the votes. So we have to work through on getting it there. We'll either get it through fixing the rules and getting it to where we can protect the American people. And do what we said we would do, to stop the swamp. Or we need a new leader. Or both. But we're working on it as hard as we know how to do. But the American people need to be patient, knowing there's a group of people up here, fighting for you. That's what this is about. Fighting to defend the American people against the swamp. That's everything we're trying to do.
GLENN: And the most effective thing any listener can do?
CHIP: Call your member and tell them to stand with us. To get what we need to get to stop the swamp. And that means Kevin McCarthy needs to come to the table. Or we need a new leader. But don't walk away, because you're hearing people go, oh, my God, you might end up with a Democrat Speaker.
That only will happen if Republicans vote for a Democrat. If Republicans vote for a Republican, you will get a Republican Speaker, and we will keep working to do that.
GLENN: Thank you so much, I appreciate it. Chip Roy from the great state of Texas. Congressman from Texas.