Pence Blames ‘Chaos Caucus’ for House Speaker Issues

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is vying for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, has strongly criticized what he calls the “chaos caucus” within the House Republicans. The turmoil stems from the ongoing inability of House Republicans to select a new speaker after the removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, on October 3rd through an unprecedented motion to vacate vote.

Speaking during a town hall event in Iowa, Pence, who served six terms in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013 as a member from Indiana, was questioned by co-host Rob Schmitt about his stance on the persistent issue of choosing a House Speaker among Republicans.

Pence made it clear that he never would have entertained the idea of collaborating with Democrats to unseat a fellow Republican Speaker during his tenure, even in his disagreements with more fiscally liberal Republicans. He was specifically referring to the actions of eight Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who instigated the motion to vacate vote, resulting in McCarthy’s removal with the backing of House Democrats.

A floor vote for the speaker nominee took place on a Tuesday, with Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, as the nominee. However, Jordan fell 17 votes short of the required threshold to secure the speaker’s position, receiving only 200 votes. Majority Leader Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana and the previous nominee, had withdrawn his candidacy the week before. Another vote was scheduled for the following Wednesday.

Pence didn’t mince words, squarely placing the blame on what he dubbed the “chaos caucus” for the ongoing predicament. He acknowledged his belief that both Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise were highly capable of serving as Speaker of the House. He also stressed the urgency for the more mature and responsible members of Congress to engage in constructive discussions with their colleagues, resolving the current impasse. Pence emphasized that the challenges facing the nation demand a united front, with the American people looking to the Republican Congress as a stronghold for conservative values.

The eight Republicans who initiated the motion against McCarthy did so, claiming that he had reneged on promises to curb federal spending, pointing to instances like the debt-ceiling deal with President Joe Biden in June and the passage of the continuing resolution to fund government operations on September 30th. Pence, drawing from his experience as a former chair of the House Republican Conference, empathized with their concerns.

Pence concluded by underscoring the harmful nature of such internal chaos within American politics and urged Republicans to come together, find common ground, and identify a capable individual, whether male or female, to lead the Congress as Speaker of the House, allowing the party to tackle the nation’s pressing issues with unity and determination.