Kat Cammack

Nomination of Rep. Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House - Jan. 4, 2023

Kat Cammack
January 04, 2023— Washington, D.C.
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Cammack nominated Kevin McCarthy for speaker of the House of Representatives in the sixth ballot.

CAMMACK: I rise today to nominate Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the peoples' House. {applause]

HOUSE CLERK CHERYL JOHNSON: The gentlewoman is recognized.

CAMMACK: My colleagues. Well, it's Groundhog Day, again. And if it’s all right with you, I would like to… [Johnson gavels for order] Thank you, Madam Clerk.

CAMMACK: If it’s all right with you all, I would like to address not you but the American people, because quite frankly they are… [Johnson gavels for order] Well, we don't have a speaker yet, so…. The American people – well, they are our boss and we work for them. Yesterday, as we were here on the House floor, our constituents from all around the country made their voices heard. Today the calls, the text messages, emails, they all continue. People are letting their voice be heard and that is a very, very good thing. [applause] Because that is what we are, after all, a constitutional republic that serves all Americans, not just a select few. To all Americans watching right now, I want to tell you we hear you, we hear you, and we will get this right, no matter how messy this process is. We will emerge better for having been through this, because nothing great ever comes easy. For the last several months, negotiations have been going back and forth over a rules package to make this chamber – your chamber – a better place to deliver better results for you, the American people. And I want to remind everyone watching, listening here in this chamber, that this chamber and this body, our country, we are bigger than a single person or a single moment in time. We are a nation collectively of great people, great patriots and great moments of courage. The rules package that has been highlighted by so many of my colleagues dictates how this chamber functions, how bills come to the floor, how much time we get to read these bills, whether or not we will get single-issue bills and whether or not we can vote proxy. And as you have witnessed from events yesterday, so many people have said, what are the next steps, what will we accomplish if we continue down this current path? Will we wake up tomorrow and be in this exact same place? The people calling my office said over and over and over again, it is time to get to work. Anything less is unacceptable. And you know, as we stood on this House floor yesterday, and again today, over 200 people were poisoned from fentanyl, fentanyl that came from an open border because of the Biden open-border policy. Over 5,000 people were encountered at the border because of Biden's open-border policies. These are the issues that people care about. They don't sit around their kitchen tables at night saying, I wonder who is going to be speaker. No, they elect people to come here to do the things that matter, the issues that impact them every single day. And in an era of uncertainty, the last thing they need is uncertainty within this chamber. We were elected to be the voice of our constituents. We are their voice in this chamber and didn't send us to be perpetual critics. They sent us to get things done. [applause] And as we all know, because after all we are in politics, the line of critics is always long. But the list of those that are actually rolling up their sleeves and doing the difficult job of leading, of uniting, of delivering results – especially in a chamber like this – well that list is very short. Kevin McCarthy has proved he can get things done. He has proven that he is willing to stand up in the face of critics, and not only prove them wrong but work with them. The only thing sovereign in this republic are its people and they have deemed it right to place a check on the Biden administration and put our party, the Republican Party, in control of this chamber. Now is the time that we take control. I understand a lack of trust amongst some of our colleagues, I do. [shout from someone in the House]

JOHNSON [gaveling]: Will the house be in order.

CAMMACK: I understand the lack of trust amongst some of our colleagues. But what I am asking, what I am asking is that we all trust the American people who sent our colleagues here. This House is the only part of the federal government that stands for election every two years. Therefore, this chamber is an instrument of the people's will. And the people have overwhelmingly voted for Kevin McCarthy. [applause] If we continue down this road, if we continue with the actions of yesterday and today, we stifle the will of the American people. The changes to the rules of this place and how it functions have been overwhelmingly positive in the last few weeks. Legislation stands ready and it's time to unite, roll up our sleeves and get to work doing the people's business. The gentleman, my friend, Kevin McCarthy from California, has done more than anyone in this chamber to secure a Republican majority. Many of the people who are members here today are, frankly, here because of his leadership, because they have trusted him and he has gone out of his way to make sure that every single one of us has had a voice at the table. Furthermore, every single returning Republican in this chamber who cast a vote two years ago in the last Congress voted for Kevin McCarthy as our leader. We were united then and we must unify now. That’s the only way to start the people's business, the very reason we are all here, is to unify and get to work. Because we must commit to unity instead of division because we owe it to the American who sent us here. We must choose to lead in the face of a liberal Senate and Obama's JV team in the White House. We owe it to the American people. The American people sent a conservative majority to govern this body. But we can't even begin to govern because, heck, we can't even swear in as members of Congress. I have traveled the country for the last two years as the youngest Republican woman in the 117th Congress, helping to secure a majority of members who are on both sides of today’s Republican vote. Diversity of thought is a good thing. It’s one of the things that sets us apart from our friends on the other side of the aisle. Yes, diversity of thought is a good thing. But they want us divided. They want us to fight each other. That much has been made clear by the popcorn and blankets and alcohol that has come in over there. [loud voices from the House floor] The House is not in order. [gaveling from Johnson; continued loud voices] The House is not in order.

JOHNSON [gaveling]: The clerk would ask all members-elect to abide by the established decorum of the House while making nominations. The gentlewoman is recognized.

CAMMACK: [some loud voices continue] As evidenced by my colleagues' reactions. [Johnson gavels] So today I am asking – my friends and colleagues, are we the party of Reagan Republicans? Reagan who said, someone who is with me 80% of the time is a loyal and good friend, not a 20% traitor. Are we the party of Reagan? That is the question that I ask you to answer as we embark on this next ballot. It's upon us to remain a nation of equal opportunity, not equal outcome. That is what is on the line here today and that is why I am nominating Kevin McCarthy and I humbly ask for your support. Madam Clerk, I yield back. [applause]

"Rep.-elect Kat Cammack on Speaker Nomination." C-SPAN video, 10:27. Jan. 4, 2023. https://www.c-span.org/video/?525146-6/rep-elect-kat-cammack-speaker-nomination.