Utah Rep. Blake Moore on voting out House Speaker Kevin McCarthy
Oct 4, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Oct 11, 2023, 3:11 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — It had never happened before in America’s history — until this week. Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, discusses Tuesday’s no-confidence vote to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
He was booted from his position following a 216-210 House vote, as eight Republicans joined 208 Democrats to remove him. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz led the effort to dump McCarthy. And 208 Republicans failed to stop the vote from happening.
Now that the speaker has been ousted, Republican House members are being sent home until Tuesday when they meet again as a conference and will hold a vote for the next speaker Wednesday, Moore said.
Moore, who recently returned to Utah, talks to KSL NewsRadio’s Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic of Dave & Dujanovic about how the historic expulsion of the House speaker unfolded in Congress and the motives behind it.
Not about conservatism
Moore said McCarthy’s negotiations with Democrats on keeping the U.S. government open last month was his undoing.
“When you’re in divided government, you have to negotiate. There’s no other option really, unless you want complete destruction, default and everything,” Moore said. “He negotiated in good faith. And that was ultimately his demise.”
He added the push to remove McCarthy was not about conservative government. It was about a handful of individuals who “had personal grudges, almost baggage from years ago… This is about undermining Kevin McCarthy… And candidly, there’s a lot of fundraising going on right now from some of these individuals that did this.
“Their political operations had fundraising emails going out saying, ‘I’m gonna vote to vacate and you need to stand with me and send 10, 15 $20 my way,” Moore said.
The debt doesn’t sleep
With the national debt at nearly $33.5 trillion, he added he was pleased to vote on a bill that included a debt commission.
“One thing I was really proud Kevin McCarthy did is he was willing to put a debt commission on the floor,” Moore said. “I finally got to vote on a debt commission last week. One of the most conservative bills that we’ve had yet was the Continuing Resolution that included border security, a debt commission and significant spending cuts.”
“And 21 Republicans — Gaetz and company included — voted against that just because they wanted to drag this and give no options for McCarthy,” Moore said. “That’s the truth. And it’s frustrating, but we’ll try to move forward.”
Trump for speaker?
Noriega pointed out that you don’t have to be a member of Congress to become speaker of the House.
“So, Representative Moore, Donald Trump for Speaker?” he asked.
“No, I think there’s a lot of good folks in the conference that are ready to take on the challenge, and I think we’re we’ll figure that out,” Moore said, chuckling.
He closed by saying the National Republican Party needs to work inside a bipartisan government and become electable to more voters.
“You’re in divided government, so you can’t have a conservative Utopia,” said Moore. “We need to focus on winning elections. And we need to take a deep, hard look at what the Republican Party needs to do to win broad appeal and elections.”
Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio.