Newly-elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy thanked former President Donald Trump for helping him get the votes, telling reporters: "I don’t think anybody should doubt his influence."
"He was with me from the beginning — somebody wrote the doubt of whether he was there — and he was all in. He would call me and he would call others. And he really was — I was just talking to him tonight — helping get those final votes."
McCarthy, who spoke with Rep. Matt Gaetz on the floor between the 14th and 15th ballot, told CNN’s Manu Raju: "At the end of the night, Matt got everybody there from the point that nobody voted against the other way, so it actually helped unite people."
The new House speaker also thanked some of the core negotiators by name — Reps. Garret Graves, Patrick McHenry, Bruce Westerman, Scott Perry, Chip Roy and French Hill.
House drama: McCarthy said he is "1,000%" confident he will serve out his term, even with the new one-person threshold on the motion to vacate.
He also dismissed concerns that tonight’s drama on the floor is a taste of what is to come in the House over the next two years.
"I think by having the disruption now, really built the trust with one another and learned how to work together," he said. "What we’re going to have to find in our mindset is that we have to frontload. We have to think about and work on the bills with a microcosm of the conference before we even start writing it. And that’s really what we learned here."
Now that a House speaker has been selected following a dayslong stalemate and members have finally been sworn in, the chamber can look toward picking back up business and organizing GOP-led committees.
Every new Congress must pass a new set of House rules, and doing so will be the top of the 118th Congress’ to-do list when the House reconvenes Monday.
With House Republicans’ majority, comes a newfound power to set the agenda — investigative and legislative.
Legislative agenda: House Republicans will be limited in their ability to pass bills through Congress with Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House — where the president can exercise veto power over legislation. Still, House Republicans will be able to push messaging bills that highlight their agenda.
In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with CNN ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy outlined his plans for power.
Those plans include:
- Tackling inflation
- Rising crime and border security
- He also left the door open to launching eventual impeachment proceedings, which some of his members have already begun to call for
There will also be some must-pass policy issues — like funding the government — that will test the ability of Republicans and Democrats to work together.
Read more about what Republicans plan to do with their new House majority here.
The House is now adjourned until 5 p.m. Monday.
Lawmakers were in the chamber until early Saturday morning after late-night voting to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker, followed by the swearing-in of all members of the 118th Congress.
Members of the 118th Congress were sworn in early Saturday morning after days of deadlock in the House speaker election that prevented them from assuming their roles.
The new Congress features a record-setting number of women and several history makers, from the House's first Gen-Z lawmaker to the longest-serving woman in congressional history.
Newly-elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was sworn in before the members, and now Congress can resume business.
The chamber is expected to vote on a House Rules package Monday.
The first bill considered by the new House of Representatives will address a Biden administration initiative to hire additional IRS agents over a 10-year period, Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Saturday morning.
"I know the night is late, but when we come back our very first bill will repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents," he said amid applause from the Republican caucus. "You see, we believe government should be to help you, not go after you."
Some background: The Republican National Committee and several Republican lawmakers have criticized new IRS funding, claiming that it will provide the agency with an “army of 87,000 new IRS agents.”
But that number is misleading. The Treasury Department estimated in 2021 that a nearly $80 billion investment in the IRS could allow the agency to hire 86,852 full-time employees over the course of a decade. But that figure accounts for all workers, not solely enforcement agents.
Kevin McCarthy has been sworn in as House speaker of the 118th Congress.
After days of deadlock and major concessions, McCarthy secured enough votes to be speaker in the 15th round of voting early Saturday morning.
The other members of Congress were also sworn-in, clearing the path for a vote on the House Rules package.
CNN previously reported that the vote is likely to be on the floor Monday.
In his first speech as House speaker, Kevin McCarthy told his colleagues, "Now the hard work begins."
"What we do here today, next week, next month, next year, will set the tone for everything that follows," he added.
McCarthy also used the remarks to "talk directly to the American people."
"As speaker of the House, my ultimate responsibility is not to my party, my conference, or even our Congress," McCarthy said. "My responsibility, our responsibility, is to our country."
CNN previously reported that McCarthy denied that Rep. Matt Gaetz was offered chairmanship of a subcommittee in exchange for his "present" vote on speaker that ultimately helped him secure victory.
“No one gets promised anything,” McCarthy said.
Speaker-elect Kevin McCarthy said the new House of Representatives wants the US to win the economic competition with China, referring to the country as the "Chinese Community Party."
In his first remarks as speaker early Saturday morning, McCarthy said, "We'll also address America's long-term challenges, the debt and the rise of the Chinese communist party."
"As for the Chinese communist party, we will create a bipartisan select committee on China to investigate how to bring back the hundreds of thousands of jobs that went to China, and then we will win this economic competition."