Rep. Curtis says Rep. McCarthy has experience to lead as House Speaker

Jan 4, 2023, 9:30 PM

John Curtis...

If Congress shuts down, Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) said he wants to make it illegal for members of Congress to get paid.(Photo: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

(Photo: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — After six rounds of voting, Republican Party has failed to elect a Speaker of the House. 

Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic with Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic to discuss the latest.

Curtis was asked if the situation is giving the party a bad look.

“It certainly has the potential to make us look bad,” he said.

Dujanovic asked if the 20 Republicans are trying to make a statement by not for voting against Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

“I think their biggest weakness is they cannot articulate what they want,” Curtis said. “People have come to them over and over again, and said ‘what is it that you want,'”

Curtis has the impression that those Republicans voting against McCarthy want anybody but McCarthy.

“Why did you vote, yes?” Noriega asked.

“So, look, there’s only one guy that has enough votes to even come close to this, and it’s Kevin,” Curtis said. “Although he’s 19 votes short. He’s also the only guy with 200 votes. And he’s the only one that the majority of us feel like has the experience and the wherewithal to get our agenda done.”

From an outsider’s point of view, Noriega asked why people should rally behind McCarthy.

 “Much of it has to do with his leadership in the past,” Curtis said. “Much of it has to do with his work getting other Republicans elected. There’s a number of reasons I think people are putting forward why Kevin is the right person.”

Dragging out House Speaker election

And while it’s uncertain how much longer it may take to elect a new Speaker, Curtis says the American people eventually are going to lose patience if this is dragged out much longer.

“I think the American people have a right to demand, demand that we get to work,” he said. “And I agree with them on that. This is embarrassing to be quite frank. Yesterday (Tuesday) on the floor, we were watching the Democrats in 100 percent unity elect and cheer their leader.”

Curtis doesn’t expect things to change until something starts to break.

“And what I mean by broken is something large consequences,” he said.

He says that could come in the form of the anger of the American people. Curtis says until that breakage begins to happen those 20 Republicans voting against McCarthy are not going to feel any pressure to act. 

Dujanovic asked if McCarthy needs to back away and take his name off the list.

“I think it’s too soon,” Curtis said. “I think it’s too soon to have that conversation.”

Curtis said he has several colleagues who have committed to voting for only McCarthy. And as long McCarthy is in the way no other individual can get across the finish line.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.


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Rep. Curtis says Rep. McCarthy has experience to lead as House Speaker