South Carolina Republican Congressman Ralph Norman is the latest "hard NO" against Kevin McCarthy's bid to be House Speaker.
There are now five public Republican no votes against McCarthy: Biggs, Gaetz, Good, Rosendale, and now, Norman. Politico has the details:
Issue at hand: The South Carolina Republican said he primarily took issue with McCarthy’s plans to fix the national debt. During a conference meeting last week during the nomination of the speaker, Norman said he asked McCarthy if he agreed to the Republican Study Committee’s seven-year plan for addressing the budget. And according to Norman, McCarthy replied “no.” For him, that was it, he said.
Asked if McCarthy could persuade him to change his mind if the Californian approached him in the coming days about plans that Norman would support to address the national debt, the lawmaker replied: “It’s too late right now.”
“Economic security is national security. I was not happy with the answer Kevin gave me about balancing the budget,” he said. “I don't care who the Speaker is. It could be Mickey Mouse, but if we have our way, we're gonna have some firm economic mandates.”
The money line is the last: "I don't care who the Speaker is. It could be Mickey Mouse, but if we have our way, we're gonna have some firm economic mandates." Are we choosing Speakers based on how much money they can raise or are we choosing Speakers based on their commitment to a necessary agenda?
Norman is absolutely correct. The "who" is kinda irrelevant. What's paramount is the House re-establishing its constitutionally-mandated authority as stewards of taxpayer resources.
If you cannot commit to cutting serious amounts of Joe Biden's spending, you're never going to cut spending. And if you're never going to cut spending, you're never going to balance the federal government's books. And if you're never going to balance the books, you're sentencing Americans to a lifelong bottomless pit of debt.
The Republican Study Committee believes the budget can be balanced in seven years. Seven isn't even all that great, but at least it's something. McCarthy, reportedly, is a firm "no" on pursuing that agenda. If that's true, please step aside, sir. The days of forcing American taxpayers to pay for stuff they didn't ask for and don't want need to be over.
Norman is correct to put the agenda first and foremost. His colleagues, including McCarthy, ought to do the same.