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Montana, Wyoming representatives split on Speaker vote

House speaker vote 2.jpg
Posted at 7:39 PM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 21:39:42-05

Lawmakers were back at Capitol Hill Friday, for a historic fouth day of voting to elect a new Speaker Of The House.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., came up short in a 12th vote, but did gain some ground in his bid for speaker.

Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., is among those opposed to McCarthy.

Rosendale spoke on the House floor on Thursday, and on Friday, he threw his support behind another Kevin, Rep. Kevin Hurd of Oklahoma, not McCarthy.

On Thursday, he talked about serving in the United States House of Representatives and the goal of decentralizing power in the house

"And the obligations that we have to the districts that we represent back home. it is an incredible privilege," Rosendale said during a House speech. "But it is also an incredible responsibility, and I do not take it lightly, and I know that no one in this room does."

Rosendale has been among those in the House Freedom Caucus, who for three straight days did not vote for McCarthy.

But early Friday, 15 holdouts changed their votes, leaving just six opposed to McCarthy's nomination, Rosendale among the six.

"I have respect for the people who were engaged in this process and willing to fight for the things that they believe in." said Representative-elect Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo. "And Matt Rosendale is one of those folks."

Hagemen, a freshmen congresswoman, has voted for McCarthy since the beginning, but says she appreciates the efforts of the members who opposed him."

"I see this is a very positive, healthy way that republics are supposed to work," Hageman said. "It is allowing people to make their voices heard. I think that that's extremely important for the 118th Congress and our ability to work on behalf of the people of this country."

Montana's other congressman, Representative-elect Ryan's Zinke, R-Mont., joined Hagaman and the majority of voting for McCarthy.

"The Republicans will control the gavel as soon as we can get Mr. McCarthy in there, and that was what my goal was. To make sure that we were protecting the Republicans' majority. We're going to get a speaker. We're going to get busy. We're going to improve the rules and we're going to hit the ground running on Monday."

The House plans to reconvene at 8 p.m. Friday, but it's unclear if McCarthy will have enough to win.