While they did not support U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., when he challenged U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the start of the year, two Florida Republicans are trumpeting their support for him as he tries again.
After U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced on Thursday that he was ending his effort to replace Boehner, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., said he remained committed to back Webster.
Yoho had joined Webster in running against Boehner but only pulled two votes. Webster garnered 12 votes against Boehner back in January. The House Freedom Caucus, which Yoho belongs to, backed Webster on Wednesday and Yoho expressed his support for his fellow Florida Republican before the GOP caucus met at noon on Thursday to vote on a new speaker. After McCarthy announced he was ending his bid, the leadership vote was postponed.
After the caucus meeting on Thursday, Yoho doubled down on his support for Webster, saying Congress would benefit from a change in leadership and priorities.
“Today is a new day in America,” Yoho said. “The status quo has changed, and ‘business as usual’ will no longer be tolerated. The American people desired a change in leadership, and I applaud both John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy for echoing the will of the people and respecting their desire for a new direction in Washington.
“My choice for speaker remains Dan Webster,” Yoho added. “Dan is the right person for the job and truly wants to change how the House of Representatives operates. The sort of change that is more responsive to the voice of the American people, that spreads out the power so more members -- not a select few -- have a say in what happens and what bills come to the floor. He is a man who will stand on principle and will work to fix the serious issues facing America. After he is elected, we can come together to start solving our nation’s problems and doing what is best for America.”
Yoho also had kind words for McCarthy who will stay at his post as majority leader.
“I respect Kevin McCarthy’s decision to remove himself from the speaker’s race,” Yoho said. “He did what was best for the House of Representatives and the country, and I applaud his decision.”
U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., also did not back Webster in January but has been one of his chief supporters this time out. Jolly had been scheduled to speak on Webster’s behalf at the Republican caucus on Thursday before the vote was postponed.
Jolly, who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2016, took to the cable airwaves, appearing on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Fox News on Thursday to make the case why Webster should be speaker.
“I believe Dan is the right candidate to get us back to governing, to achieving conservative results through governing,” Jolly said. “We’ve gone from the ‘do-nothing’ Congress to the ‘try-nothing’ Congress. We need to let the House work its will on behalf of the American people who entrust us to serve.”
Jolly also trumpeted his support for Webster in an op-ed published by the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday after the caucus vote.
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