GOP detractor Rep. Dan Bishop says he’d rather resign than vote for McCarthy as speaker

GOP detractor Rep. Dan Bishop says he'd rather resign than vote for McCarthy as speaker

One of the Republican holdouts who has voted six times against electing Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy as House speaker says he would rather resign from Congress than see his right-wing allies work out a deal to give the California lawmaker the gavel.

North Carolina Rep.-elect Dan Bishop, 58, made the threat to Roll Call in an article published Thursday.

“We’re going to either see improvement up here the same way we made remarkable improvements in North Carolina in the state legislature, or I’m out,” Bishop told the outlet.

The lawmaker said under McCarthy’s leadership, existential threats to the country had “gotten worse not better,” and said he was willing to resign from his position because he’s “older than the average bear” and “not going to stay up here [in DC] for decades.”

Dan Bishop seen voting Wednesday
Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina said he’d rather leave Congress than see Kevin McCarthy elected as House speaker.
McCarthy seen entering Congress
McCarthy had lost six straight ballots after members of the far-right Freedom Caucus voted for other candidates as they demanded concessions.
Getty Images

Bishop has represented the area outside Raleigh since 2019 after serving for four years in the North Carolina legislature, where he was known for sponsoring the state’s controversial 2016 bill that prevented transgender people from using public bathrooms corresponding to their gender identities.

His threat came after 20 holdouts — almost all of them from the far-right House Freedom Caucus — cast ballots for Florida Rep.-elect Byron Donalds in three nominating ballots Wednesday.

The votes for the 44-year-old Donalds came after Democratic Rep.-elect Hakeem Jeffries became the first person of color to be nominated for House speaker. Despite the GOP’s thin majority, Jeffries had outpaced McCarthy in each of the six ballots due to the Republican mutiny.

Other members of the ultra-conservative caucus — who are seeking concessions and appointments that take away power from the speakership — indicated that their stances were more flexible.

“I, like many, have trust issues with the leader. But I wouldn’t say that everything is so finite that there’s no conceivable way,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania told the outlet after voting commenced Wednesday.

Bishop and six other caucus members had signed a letter last month saying they needed more power to “advance the conservative agenda,” cap spending and ensure that they represented on the powerful House Rules Committee.

As voting headed into its third day, McCarthy had reportedly given in to some of the group’s demands, agreeing that the Congressional Leadership Fund super political action committee that he is aligned with would not back any primary candidates for open seats in safe GOP districts.

McCarthy had also signaled he would allow one House member to force a vote that could oust the speaker, a departure from his earlier “motion to vacate” compromise which would have required five representatives to agree to start such a process.

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