Only eight Republicans joined 208 Democrats in voting to remove the Speaker. Rep. Tim Burchett, of Knoxville, was one of them. He said the decision wasn’t easy.
“I was really deliberating over this, there were two paths. I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to lose a friend, Kevin McCarthy, if I vote to oust him but my conscious was saying that I needed to,'” Burchett said.
After just narrowly avoiding a government shutdown, Burchett said he’s frustrated after ending up with only a temporary budget solution again.
“We keep saying we’re going to change it after the next time, they say, ‘Burchett, vote for this thing and we’ll change it the next time.’ I’ve been here five years and the next time never comes,” he said.
Burchett was the only Tennessee Republican to vote against the speaker. Rep. Diana Harshbarger, who represents the Tri-Cities area, said in a statement that the House was on track to fund the government through appropriations bills.
“It is shameful that instead of keeping that promise and focusing on the issues that impact everyday Americans,” Harshbarger said in the statement. “We have chosen to air personal grievances and fight amongst each other.”
She also called out members of her party that voted to oust the speaker, going onto say, “I wish that Republicans were this determined to fight against the Democrats’ disastrous policies, instead of attacking one another.”
Burchett hopes that once the 45-day bill is up, the parties can come to an agreement.
“I would love if we would take up a budget. Get with the democrats, find out what they want, get with our folks see what we want, and see what we can pass,” he said.
The 45-day temporary spending bill will expire on November 17th. Burchett also named some representatives he thought may be fit to be the next speaker, including Steve Scalise (LA), Elise Stefanik (NY), Tom Emmer (MN) and Mark Green (TN).
McCarthy announced Tuesday night after the vote that he would not run for the seat again.