Why Rep. Mary Miller, who voted 15 times against McCarthy, wanted him to remain speaker

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In a straight-party line vote, Illinois Republicans attempted to retain Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker, but their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.

The historic vote resulted in McCarthy being ousted as Speaker, and will now require the body to vote on a new leader in coming days.

Rep. Mary Miller, an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump and a fierce critic of McCarthy, voted to retain him as speaker, as did fellow Republicans Mike Bost and Darrin LaHood.

Miller voted against McCarthy’s ascension to the speakership in January, but said that fears of a coalition-led House led to her reversal.

“I agree with President Trump that right now, we should be focused on stopping the radical Democrats,” she said. “I voted against Kevin McCarthy 15 times in January, but no one else has stepped forward to run for speaker, and I will not surrender the majority to a ‘coalition government’ with the Democrats through a power-sharing agreement with extreme liberals Nancy Pelosi and Hakeem Jeffries.”

Miller said that she feared a coalition agreement would allow Democrats to end an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, and would also impact budget negotiations, especially with the government only funded for the next six weeks.

LaHood called the vote a “waste of time” in a statement urging his colleagues to support McCarthy.

“Wasting our time on a motion to vacate does a disservice to the American people,” he said. “I stand with Speaker McCarthy, who has delivered consistent, conservative results since we took the majority. Let’s end this sideshow and continue to work to rein in spending and secure the border.”

While the three Illinois House Republicans voted to retain McCarthy, all 14 Democrats voted against his speakership.

“I will not vote for, nor support anyone for speaker who puts themselves above our democracy,” Rep. Sean Casten said. “Who voted to overturn the last election. Who chose to put extremists in control of the House agenda.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky also cited his support of extremism in detailing her opposition to McCarthy.

“It took 15 rounds of voting for Kevin McCarthy to win the speakership, and what did he do immediately after winning? Hand the gavel over to the far-right extremists in his party. Kevin McCarthy has broken too many promises to count,” she said.

The decision to oust McCarthy came after Rep. Matt Gaetz initiated a vote, using rules established when McCarthy put together a compromise to become speaker. Eight Republicans in all defected to oust him, while all 208 Democrats that were present in the House voted to vacate the office.

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