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Rep. Scott Perry blasts Kevin McCarthy ahead of crucial House Speaker vote

The York County Republican said in a statement ahead of Tuesday's speaker vote that McCarthy has shown no desire "to...change the status quo in Washington."

WASHINGTON — Editor's Note: The above video is from Dec. 17, 2022.

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry on Tuesday issued a statement ahead of the vote on Kevin McCarthy's quest to become House Speaker, which is expected to happen later in the day.

Perry, a York County Republican who won re-election to the House last November and is considered to be a key figure in opposition to McCarthy's ascent to speaker, accused him of "(failing) to demonstrate any desire to meaningfully change the status quo in Washington."

He added that McCarthy, who has the potential to become the first nominee for speaker in 100 years to fail to win initial support from his own colleagues in the race for the gavel, "rejected" the opportunity to become speaker by refusing to negotiate in good faith with Perry and his other conservative colleagues.

In the statement, which he issued on Twitter, Perry said he and his colleagues "worked in good faith for months to change the status quo," but McCarthy resisted those efforts.

"In his 14 years of Republican leadership, McCarthy has repeatedly failed to demonstrate any desire to meaningfully change the status quo in Washington," Perry said. "Despite our deep reservations we have continued to work in earnest to find a path forward with McCarthy, knowing that this crucial moment (the speaker vote) would come.

"On New Year's Eve, at the 11th hour, after dragging his feet for months, McCarthy presented a vague ultimatum lacking in specifics and substance. 

"In an attempt to flesh out and add substance to his ultimatum and our many discussions, we approached McCarthy with an offer to get him to 218 votes. He declined.

"While he claimed to offer fair and equal representation for conservatives on all House committees, when we provided specific names willing to serve on each—as he requested—he balked.

"We asked for firm commitments on concrete policies for the benefit of the American people. When asked to promise votes on 1.) a balanced budget, 2.) the Fair Tax Act, 3.) the Texas border plan, and 4.) term limits for members of Congress, he refused.

"We requested transparent, accountable votes on individual earmarks that would require two-thirds support to pass, and to ensure that all amendments to cut spending would be allowed floor consideration. He dismissed it.

"We demanded that he cease his efforts to defeat competitive conservative candidates in open Republican primaries. He denied it.

"Kevin McCarthy had the opportunity to be Speaker of the House. He rejected it."

On Tuesday, Democrats relinquish control of the House after midterm election losses. While the Senate remains in Democratic hands, barely, House Republicans are eager to confront President Joe Biden’s agenda after two years of a Democratic Party monopoly on power in Washington.

But first, House Republicans must elect a speaker.

McCarthy is in line to replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but he heads into the vote with no guarantee of success. 

The California Republican faces entrenched detractors within his own ranks, including Perry. 

Despite attempts to cajole, harangue and win them over — even with an endorsement from former President Donald Trump — McCarthy has fallen short.

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