Chip Roy (R-Texas), a member of the Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives of the United States, criticized the process by which lawmakers choose the leader of their conference in a floor speech on Thursday.
His remarks came the day after Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the minority leader of the House, was chosen to replace Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as speaker of the House in the incoming 118th Congress.
However, Roy backed McCarthy’s challenger, conservative Republican Representative Andy Biggs (R-Arizona). Biggs was defeated by a score of 188 to 31, although it was pointed out that McCarthy may have trouble garnering the necessary 218 votes to win and become speaker of the house. This would put the speaker of the house in second place in the presidential succession, only behind the vice president.
“Let’s all stop groveling and licking our lips to get on a committee. This isn’t why we came, to spend our time in committees. We are not seeking official status. The titles in this town will make your head spin!” After an exclamation, Roy asked sarcastically, “Where do we find the heads of government? Leadership. Is there a leader who you admire and look up to? You don’t get a say in the matter.”
Roy seemed dissatisfied with the selection process for House speakers and the outcome of the Biggs race.
He went on, “I didn’t come here for second place.” “I didn’t come here,” he said, “I didn’t abandon my family.” “I didn’t leave my kid and my daughter and my wife every Monday and travel up here and spend three, four, five days up here and fly back every week just cause I want to get Southwest points.”
Social media users were left wondering why Roy was at the nation’s capital.