WASHINGTON—When Rep. Kevin McCarthy was elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, his journey involved a historic 15 rounds of voting over four days.
The Daily Signal, the media arm of The Heritage Foundation, just released an 11-minute documentary on the 20 lawmakers—including Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Eli Crane and Andy Biggs of Arizona, Anna Paulina Luna and Matt Gaetz of Florida, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Dan Bishop of North Carolina—who held out on the speaker’s vote in order to enact major changes in how the House of Representatives functions.
“When people talk about the swamp or the establishment, I think another word I like better is the cartel, the uni-party cartel,” Biggs says in the documentary.
The 20 members were able to negotiate numerous concessions, including a restriction requiring amendments to bills to be germane, controls on spending, a prohibition on omnibus bills, conservative inclusion on key committees, the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, and the ability to “vacate the chair” (i.e., ousting the speaker through a vote).
The Daily Signal sat down with Roy, Gaetz, Biggs, Crane, Luna, Bishop, and Perry to discuss the House speaker race and why they chose to take a stand.
“The reason that I did what I did and voted the way I did for 14 or 15 rounds was because that's what I heard from my voters for a year and a half,” Rep. Eli Crane says in the video. “If you go out, walk out of my office, and look on the sign on the door, it says ‘Representative.’ My job is to represent what they want."
Katrina Trinko, director and editor-in-chief of The Daily Signal, commended her reporting team:
"This January there was a historic fight over who would be House speaker, a series of votes that truly were democracy in action as a group of lawmakers strove to make sure their constituents' views were represented. I'm proud for The Daily Signal to release this documentary, an inside look at what drove the 20 lawmakers who participated in this historical moment."
Watch the full documentary here.