Nebraska representatives react to House gridlock

Representatives Don Bacon and Mike Flood share their insight as Capitol Hill faces gridlock
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 11:11 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2023 at 9:07 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The political battle to appoint a new Speaker of the House is set to spill into another day after six indecisive votes.

It’s the first time since 1923 that the House hasn’t elected a speaker in the first vote and the Republican majority is struggling to come together. The path forward still doesn’t seem any clearer, but Congressman Mike Flood is optimistic.

“The fact that they voted for this where they wouldn’t vote for the same adjournment motion earlier in the day tells me that we are talking, and we are making progress,” Flood said.

10/11 asked Flood if this apparent disunity reveals disfunction in the Republican Party.

“I’m the longest-serving speaker of the Nebraska Legislature in our state’s history,” Rep. Flood replied. “I’ve sat through more days of Ernie Chambers frustrating me, wasting my time. But at the end of the day, I know from that strife and from that conflict, comes good policy.”

But Congressman Don Bacon took a different line. He referred to the Republican dissenters as the “Taliban 20” and encouraged Rep. Kevin McCarthy to cross the aisle.

“I also think at some point he needs to work with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries to talk about committee ratios, office spaces, how we’re going to do various rules,” Bacon said.

Flood disagreed.

“Americans did not vote for Republican majority so we could share power with the Democrats,” he said.

Ultimately, he’s hopeful that a compromise will be reached and that the House will get to work soon.