Rep. Ken Buck told Newsmax that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy should "negotiate in good faith" with the Republican conference on his speakership nomination.
During a Tuesday "Spicer & Co. appearance," the Colorado Republican revealed that he voted for Freedom Caucus colleague Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona as the official GOP speaker nominee instead of McCarthy.
"Andy ran because we needed somebody other than Kevin to show Kevin he didn't have 218 votes — which are the votes necessary to win on the House floor Jan. 3 — he didn't have 200 votes," the congressman explained. "He actually had 36 people who voted against him or voted for someone else, 31 of those for Andy Biggs.
"So, right now, I think the key is that Kevin McCarthy negotiates in good faith with members of the conference to make sure that the power of the conference returns to the members and doesn't stay in the speaker's office."
Buck stressed the "abuses that have occurred" with the position under current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., attributing them "in large part" to an accumulation of power by the position in recent years.
When asked about what the demands were for McCarthy by more conservative members, Buck listed several changes the coalition would like to see to the role before the floor vote commences.
"Should each of the individual committees' appropriate money as opposed to having one Appropriations Committee? Should the Rules Committee consist of members from the different caucuses as opposed to just the speaker appointing all nine members ... there are a number of things," the representative outlined.
Specifically, Buck took issue with McCarthy's influence over the Steering Committee, which decides who gets what committee position every congressional term.
"The Steering Committee is very lopsided towards Kevin McCarthy and the leadership," he continued. "There are many members from different caucuses in Congress that want to see that power dispersed."
But Buck conceded that McCarthy will "absolutely" garner the necessary votes to become speaker in the coming months, granted that he addresses all the concerns levied by the conference.
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