(WKBN) – The three congressmen who represent the counties around Youngstown all voted on Tuesday to keep Kevin McCarthy as House speaker, but he was ultimately voted out.
On Wednesday, Ohio’s Jim Jordan announced he is running for speaker. There are at least two candidates trying to get enough votes for the position, which could be decided next week. But Congressmen Bill Johnson of Ohio and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania say they are not ready to support anyone for the speaker post just yet.
“I mean, I’m not sure what Kevin McCarthy could have done differently,” Johnson said, who represents Mahoning and Columbiana counties.
Johnson was the most critical of the eight Republicans who voted against McCarthy.
“I’m really disappointed, Stan, that a small group of vandals from the Republican caucus joined with Democrats to remove the Republican speaker,” Johnson said.
“I was really disappointed,” Kelly said, who represents Mercer and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania.
Kelly was disappointed that the eight Republicans did not stay committed to the Republican team.
“The speaker’s been doing such a good job for so long, and a lot of them, by the way, are in office because of the work Speaker McCarthy did,” Kelly said.
“I mean, when you look back at what Kevin McCarthy has led our conference to do, led our majority to do since he became speaker in early January, I mean, it’s pretty remarkable,” Johnson said.
Johnson said McCarthy was instrumental in passing energy, border security and debit limit packages, along with navigating the spending plan that avoided a government shutdown.
“I think he did a great job,” Johnson said.
Neither Johnson nor Kelly though would be specific on who they might support to be the next speaker.
“We can do this, we will do this. I have every confidence that America’s greatest days are ahead,” Johnson said.
“I think there’s a lot of people, very talented people. I want somebody with the experience of having worked in this type of an environment,” Kelly said.
In a statement, Congressman Dave Joyce, who represents Trumbull County, said, “McCarthy has delivered on his commitment to America and I am grateful for his leadership… These tactics are nothing short of insane and in no part conservative.”