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After midnight, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, six Representatives-elect voted “Present” for Speaker, lowering Kevin McCarthy’s victory threshold to 215 votes. In that 15th round of voting, McCarthy received 216 votes and was finally elected Speaker.
After Hakeem Jeffries went through a bizarre speech that included the ABC’s of division and hatred. It was, "Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Communist Gaslighting You Learned in Kindergarten.” Afterwards, he introduced McCarthy and handed him the gavel.
McCarthy’s acceptance speech appeared as an attempt at unity, and a promise to run things differently. He reportedly made significant concessions on the House Rules, with provisions that are promised to restore transparency and function to the chamber’s proceedings. We will see.
Surely, you can understand our skepticism.
The Speaker Vote of the 118th Congress was historic. The six Representatives that were unwilling to compromise will be enshrined as heroes in history. Whether or not the promises and concessions are honored will also be enshrined in history.
You should also understand this: Because we’ve watched four days and 15 roll call votes, our understanding of your composition and factions is clearer than it has ever been.
Legislators, congratulations on finally assuming your roles.
Expect to hear more from your constituents this term. We are self-governed, and we expect you to represent us.
You promised to make it different and fix the problems that the government has created in our lives. We’re paying attention this time. You answer to us, not the party and not your donors.
You just took an oath. Don’t forget it.