Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) said Thursday he remains open-minded in the ongoing House speaker race as he and 20 defectors continue to vote against Republicans’ leading nominee, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Bishop, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, spoke to Breitbart News in a brief one-on-one interview shortly after casting a vote for Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) for speaker in the ninth round of voting early Thursday evening.
Asked where he stands on the three-day stalemate, Bishop said, “I’m supporting Byron Donalds now. That is the thing everybody wants to know. They want to know where this thing is going to conclude and the answer to that is, that’s what is part of the potential benefit of this situation is its dynamism, is the fact that the answer is not foreordained.”
On if he would ever vote for McCarthy for speaker, Bishop said, “I leave every possibility on the table because that’s how you get to a good solution.”
Bishop and others in the Freedom Caucus make up most of the 21 who have, thus far, continued to oppose McCarthy largely because they reject the “status quo,” as Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) has repeatedly said.
Bishop said, “We’ve gotten so accustomed in this country to knowing that there’s gonna be some, about three or four people, in the back room. They’re gonna decide, and the result is foreordained. Everything’s stacked. A lot of American people have become disheartened because they believe that to be so, and it is so. That is what we are taking a stand to change.”
McCarthy needs, at present, 218 votes to win the speakership, but he has continued to receive 201 — and 200 in the ninth round because of one absence — meaning he must negotiate an agreement that involves House structural changes and other vows that are agreeable to most of those currently voting against him.
Those negotiations remain ongoing, as indicated by reports circulating of closed-door conversations with McCarthy opposers and McCarthy allies like Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Tom Emmer (R-IN).
In a sign of progress, McHenry said Thursday, according to Bloomberg, “I think we have the right contours that enable us to get Kevin McCarthy to have a majority vote.”
Like several of the defectors, Bishop has been pressed on who he would elect as an alternative candidate who could receive the needed majority of votes, as House business is fully stalled and frustrations with the inability to work are growing.
Bishop said, “A lot of people have tried to put members on the defensive … and have said, ‘Well, where does this end?’ There’s no reason for anxiety about where it ends. It ends when people assemble, finish discussing and working together and working over hard issues and hard questions to come to a resolution by the requisite majority that the people have elected. It’s a great thing.”
He noted the closed-door conversations happening and said talks have “absolutely” been productive.
A tenth vote began Thursday evening and remains ongoing at the time of this publishing.
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