During an appearance on Newsmax’s “Saturday Report,” Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) argued that the House Democrats will try to “manipulate” new House GOP rules to be in their favor.
Tenney asserted that “Democrats ruled [Congress] by fists from Nancy Pelosi,” while Republican lawmakers were nearly brought to fisticuffs simply over choosing their Speaker of the House.
Not only did Pelosi run a dictatorship, she abused power and trampled on the Constitution to solidify her grip on power. https://t.co/XgiOB07CYs
— Claudia Tenney (@claudiatenney) January 7, 2023
Following the intense drama that ultimately led to Rep. Kevin McCarthy finally winning the Speaker vote after midnight on Saturday morning, Tenney discussed the drama that she predicts will continue to happen in the months to come.
“We’re never gonna get a perfect speaker; we’re never going to get a perfect rules package; and it’s going to look like this every single major vote that we have in the House, so get ready,” she said. “We’re going to be in Washington a lot, and we’re going to be hashing this out because there are a lot of historic changes in a lot of these rules and what we’re going through.”
Republicans have a slim majority in the House, with just 222 members to the Democrats’ 212. This led to a tense battle for the speaker’s gavel, with around 20 conservative holdouts refusing to support McCarthy without significant concessions such as a committee to investigate the politicization of the FBI, placing members of the House Freedom Caucus on the Rules Committee and the Appropriations Committee, allowing for any member to introduce a motion to hold a vote remove the speaker from his position and allowing at least 72 hours given for lawmakers to read bills before voting.
“It’s a high-risk operation for Kevin McCarthy, our new speaker because, for the first time, he’s going to be facing a very, very narrow majority with a rules package that is going to actually minimize the power of the speaker; and it’s going to force us into consensus,” Tenney said.
The New York congresswoman went on to argue that Democrats are going to attempt to exploit the GOP and the new rules they insisted on.
“We’re always going to be in this cloak-and-dagger situation where Democrats, who I consider to be much more diabolical when it comes to the rules, and Nancy Pelosi, who is — I think — an abuser of power to a level of never seen,” she said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how much they try to play us and try to manipulate those rules to benefit them.”
Tenney, who voted for McCarthy in each of the 15 roll call votes despite calls from a significant number of conservative voters to elect a non-establishment candidate, was disappointed that Republicans had to move on to a 15th vote — noting that McCarthy was supposedly guaranteed the vote during the 14th ballot but people didn’t “live up” to their “promises.”
“Obviously, that 14th vote was a little bit disappointing to many of us because we were told that they had the votes and they were promised the votes, and then some of the people who allegedly had made promises didn’t live up to them. And so we had to go back to the drawing board,” she said.
In the end, the six remaining Republican holdouts still didn’t vote for McCarthy — instead choosing to vote “present,” which lowered the vote threshold, allowing McCarthy to win.
“Some started out principled, in my opinion, and then became just petty grievances,” Tenney claimed, without evidence. “And that’s what concerned me was this, ‘I just don’t like Kevin McCarthy.’”
“I mean, Matt Gaetz, who’s a friend, actually admitted, ‘Look, I don’t care what Kevin McCarthy does; I’m never going to vote for him for speaker,’ which ultimately he did not,” she added. “They voted ‘present’ in order to get this the speaker across the finish line without recently receiving 218 votes, so the numbers came down.”
Tenney went on to warn Americans to “get ready” for more drama in the House for the rest of the term.
“It’s going to be very difficult to operate this majority with such narrow margins with what we saw,” she added. “If this is what it’s going to look like, we are in for a long term.”
“This is going to be the day in and day out, not being able to come to a consensus,” Tenney continued.
"It's going to be very difficult to operate this majority with such narrow margins."
Rep. @claudiatenney warns about the dangers of Republican infighting in Congress. @RitaCosby
MORE: https://t.co/nObURw9vIX pic.twitter.com/CRhr2IZ2rP
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) January 7, 2023