GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie encouraged House Republicans to forget about internal divisions and focus on necessary legislative priorities amid struggles to elect a new Speaker.
“They asked me on TV on Thursday, ‘Who do you want to be Speaker?’ I said I don’t care. Just pick someone!” Christie said at a campaign stop in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday.
The House has been without a Speaker for nearly three weeks as successive candidates fail to garner enough support to win the election. A third Speaker-designee will be selected from an expanding pool of candidates at a caucus meeting on Monday evening.
The former New Jersey governor said the Speaker chaos has prevented the U.S. government from doing important policy work.
“Just pick someone because Israel needs help,” he said. “Ukraine needs help. Our southern border needs to be secured.”
“And Taiwan needs to be armed now so we’re not catching up later,” he added. “We need to send a message to the Chinese now that Taiwan will be ready if they come.”
Christie said House Republicans have been too busy arguing over “who’s going to get the big office with the view of the National Mall to make sure their ego is okay.”
“Make a decision! Be done already! That’s what we need to do,” he argued.
President Biden submitted a $100 billion supplemental budget request on Friday which includes all of those priorities. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has signaled he may support it.
But, that package relies on the House in order to be passed. The lower chamber has not considered any legislation since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted from his leadership role earlier this month in a historic vote.
Speaker votes are expected to continue next week after a new nominee is chosen. Candidates have until Sunday at noon to join the race.
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