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Washington Watch: Ralph Norman Flip Flops On Speaker Vote

Congressman now supports a speaker “tied to the Washington swamp.”

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Faced with the threat of a “Republican” primary challenger in 2024, U.S. congressman Ralph Norman of South Carolina flipped his vote on Friday in favor of California moderate Kevin McCarthy to become the next speaker of the U.S. House. Norman’s flip-flop – which came on the fourth day of balloting – helped put McCarthy tantalizingly close to the 218 votes he needs to claim the gavel and commence GOP rule of the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress.

You know … for whatever that’s been worth.

McCarthy has been battling a group of twenty or so GOP lawmakers – part of the so-called “ultra-conservative” wing of the Republican caucus – for the past four days in his bid to become speaker. These lawmakers are ostensibly loyal to former U.S. president Donald Trump – but even Trump’s efforts to sway them to McCarthy’s banner earlier this week failed miserably.

On Friday, though, the ranks of the defectors began thinning as deals were cut by McCarthy and his allies in the hopes of ending the historic stalemate.



“Republicans” hold 222 seats following the 2022 elections – in which an expected “red wave” failed to materialize. Democrats hold 212 seats but are expected to pick up one additional seat after a February 21 special election to fill the Virginia seat vacated by the November 28, 2022 passing of Donald McEachin.

To become speaker, 218 votes are required. On the thirteenth vote for speaker on Friday, McCarthy captured 214 GOP votes – four shy of the margin he needs to secure the position. As I have noted in previous coverage, nothing can happen in the U.S. House of Representatives during the 118th Congress until a new speaker is chosen. That includes the swearing-in of new members – including South Carolina seventh district representative-elect Russell Fry.

Norman – one of the original five McCarthy opponents – previously told his fellow GOP lawmakers he would sooner “vote for Mickey Mouse” than for McCarthy.

According to Norman, McCarthy was not serious about reining in deficit spending in Washington, D.C. – including votes to raise the debt ceiling so government could continue living on borrowed time.

Just days ago, Norman told reporter Justin Dougherty of Fox Carolina that the House needed to elect someone who wasn’t “tied to the Washington swamp.”

(Click to View)

Kevin McCarthy (via U.S. Agriculture Department)

“I think we’re going to be successful in finding somebody,” Norman told Dougherty. “And I just don’t think (McCarthy) is the man.”

What made him change his mind? It’s not immediately clear, but my guess is whatever concession McCarthy made to flip Norman and approximately a dozen of his colleagues won’t make much difference in the grand scheme of things.

As I have noted repeatedly, America is staring down some scary interest payments on its ballooning national debt – which currently stands at a whopping $31.2 trillion. According to the latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), these debt payments – i.e. the cost of government’s borrowing – are projected to climb from $442 billion to $1.2 trillion per year over the coming decade.

And that was before the secretive Federal Reserve bank jacked interest rates by 4 percent over the last nine months.

And again … that’s just the interest due on the ongoing deficit spending.

We are talking about a tidal wave of red ink, people … and neither party has put forward anything resembling a credible solution for addressing it.



(via FITSNews)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has an incredible hat collection including that Tampa Bay Rays sunburst batting practice lid.



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Nanker Phelge January 6, 2023 at 5:05 pm

“deals were cut by McCarthy”

Deals? What deals? He gave away the whole store to the nutjobs.

Hank January 6, 2023 at 5:32 pm

All those people who stood by McCarthy, must be royally pissed off to see these nut jobs getting everything they want, inclulding plum committee positions in exchange for ending their opposition. I would rethink my strategy next time if I were they.

McCarthy should have gutted the nut jobs, but he did not have the guts to go to the Democrats and throw them a few bones in exchange for a few votes.

mmm sausage January 7, 2023 at 6:41 am

now lets go get hunter brandon

hang em high January 7, 2023 at 6:43 am

now its time to gut the potato n chief

A Name January 8, 2023 at 11:55 am

Trump hasn’t been potato n chief for a couple of years now. He’s definitely getting gutted now though ;-)

Observer January 7, 2023 at 7:48 am

Shameful. They say everyone has their price and now Ralph Norman has sold us out, too.

The party of George santos January 8, 2023 at 11:59 am


Qupbuplicans are shitting the bed like retarded babies.

That’s what happens when you’ve been played by a bunch of extremists perverts of your own making.

You have to be one stupid piece of shit to vote GQP these days. At least they’ve sunkened down to Will Folks’ level, so he feel welcome again. It’s the party of violence-loving crooks now. Woman beaters are the norm.

CongareeCatfish Top fan January 11, 2023 at 10:36 am

When this story of the Speaker election kerfuffle first emerged, my first impressions were that this was an ego/attention whore fight initiated by Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert and their political kin. I found it really annoying, especially with their nomination of Jim Jordan when Jordan clearly said that he did not want it and nominated McCarthy. But then I started hearing more about how long-standing rules of the House, directed at the process of the introduction, review, and amendment of bills, the power of standing committees, and the overall spending bill writing process have been drastically changed over the last 20 years – and the fault of both the Republican and Democrat speakers for causing it. I also learned about how, for many decades, the House utilized (usually) 12 to 14 standard bills directed at major subjects (Agriculture, Defense, Energy, etc.) rather than all-encompassing omnibus spending bill monstrocities. As the last two days of the kerfuffle before the 15th vote came around, I came to realize that the 20 holdouts were at least in part standing in the gap to force the House to return to these reasonable and desperately needed long-standing rules to be re-established…and it explained why we were witnessing dialogue between the Freedom Caucus and the far-left “Squad.” They would never have anything to talk about constructively regarding the substance of legislation, but they would have common ground in the matters pertaining to House rules and processes, because the Squad had experienced its own version of the “stiff arm” from Pelosi and her allies. From the present vantage point (which of course could change with new revelations), it would seem that the Freedom Caucus holdouts demonstrated a masterful exercise of political leverage that could go a long way towards getting the House back on the right track in terms of how it runs itself – and we may actually see in future years some Democrat minority caucuses, if they exercise some intellectual honesty, giving up begrudging praise for what occurred.


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