After a tumultuous meeting, pro-life House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthym the number two Republican in the House of representatives, has dropped his bed to become Speaker of the House. McCarthy made his decision after getting heavy criticism from Democrats and the media over the committee investigating the Benghazi debacle and his comments saying it has hurt pro-abortion Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Republicans were to meet Thursday at noon to elect a new Speaker and McCarthy was expected to win the closed-door vote and become the Speaker nominee from Republicans, but conservative lawmakers are pushing pro-life Congressman Daniel Webster and appear to have enough votes to make it difficult for McCarthy to win a vote on the House floor with Republicans splitting their votes.
The House Freedom Caucus, and its three dozen members, announced it would support Webster, who is a pro-life Republican from Florida.
After the meeting reports say McCarthy told Republicans “I’m not the right guy” and they “need a fresh face” to lead the party. House Republican Conference spokesman Nate Hodson said the election for Republican speaker nominee would be postponed until a later date.
The Hill has more on his comments and decision not to be elected Speaker without a united Republican caucus:
“I think I shocked some of you,” McCarthy joked to reporters after his bombshell.
He said he would stay on as majority leader, but believed Republicans needed to unify around a “new face.”
“I feel good about the decision. I think we’re only going to be stronger,” he said.
McCarthy suggested it was unclear whether he could have won the 218 votes on the floor needed to be elected Speaker.
“I don’t want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes,” said McCarthy, who cast his decision as putting his conference first. “I think best think for our party is to win with 247 votes.”
Another candidate, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the pro-life Republican congressman from Utah who just headed up one of the Congressional hearing into the Planned Parenthood abortion business over its role in selling aborted babies and their body parts is also campaigning for Speaker.
Speaker John Boehner will step down from his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives in October. Boehner is strongly pro-life and has overseen the passage of legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks and to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
Earlier this week, Congressman Chaffetz accused Planned Parenthood of spending $40 million on parties, travel expenses and office space during a House Oversight and Government Committee hearing. The Hill reported that he said the abortion giant threw themed parties with some of that money, using names like “Murder Mystery,” “Gathering of Goddesses and Gods” and “Chocolate Champagne.”
The committee also said Planned Parenthood spent $622,706 on events with celebrity guests, purchased an expensive Manhattan office ($34.8 million) and spared no expense when it came to travel costs. Apparently, their executives flew first class and used the organization’s funds on charter travel. The committee says all this information comes from an extensive investigation into Planned Parenthood and from reviewing several years of their tax returns.
McCarthy, like Chaffetz, is strongly pro-life on abortion and has backed that up with a solid 100% pro-life voting record. He has voted to ban abortions, to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and voted against Obamacare and for its repeal and de-funding.
Yesterday, after the House passed a bill to help states de-fund Planned Parenthood, McCarthy said he strongly supported de-funding.
“Under this Administration, Washington’s appetite for power is unlimited. We’ve seen this as President Obama and Congressional Democrats want to force the taxpayers to fund Planned Parenthood despite national objections to the sickening videos that have been released. But we can also see it in the way the federal government tries to force states to spend money on organizations they don’t support,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said during the debate.
He added: “The House voted today to give states the power to exclude abortion providers from receiving Medicaid funding in their states. We need to make it clear not only that states deserve more authority—not the federal government—but also that nobody should be forced to support such callous and horrific practices with their tax dollars.”
After the shocking videos of Planned Parenthood selling aborted baby body parts surfaced, he said: “Life is truly a miracle, and here in the House we have fought and will continue to fight to protect the sanctity of life. I speak for all of my colleagues when I say I was deeply disturbed by reports and video of an organization engaging in such grotesque and inhumane practices. I will be working with House Committees to investigate the claims made by the employee. We should all agree that no life is expendable, and our society has no place for such callous indifference to life.”
After the hearing this week on Planned Parenthood, Chaffetz got pretty emotional with CNN host Wolf Blitzer after Blitzer defended Planned Parenthood.
Chaffetz was questioning why taxpayers provide $528 million to Planned Parenthood in federal funding when Blitzer interrupted him.
“I just want to point out,” Blitzer said, “of that half-a-billion dollars, about 75 percent are Medicaid reimbursements for critically important things that Planned Parenthood does for especially poor women who have no alternatives.”“Don’t tell me we don’t care about this,” Chaffetz shot back, invoking his parents and his personal support for cancer research.
Leading pro-life advocates said they appreciated the job Boehner did as Speaker.
Carol Tobias, President of National Right to Life responded to his resignation and told LifeNews: “Speaker John Boehner has been a dedicated ally in the fight to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Throughout his career in the U.S. House, and most especially his tenure as speaker, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the cause of life. All of us in the right-to-life movement are grateful to Speaker Boehner for his leadership in our common cause of working for the day when all members of the human family are protected by our nation’s laws.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List added: “During his time as speaker we’ve seen an unprecedented level of pro-life activity.”