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Congressional swearing in and 2023 GOP leadership vote

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Center-right Kevin McCarthy heads to his meeting with House Republicans on Tuesday. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

A closed meeting among Republican lawmakers ahead of the vote for House speaker is heating up.

When GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy entered the room, he received a standing ovation from most people before reviewing the rules package, sources told CNN.

McCarthy raised his voice in the meeting as he slammed his opponents, detailed all the concessions he made and said it hadn’t been good enough, two sources said.

“I earned this job,” he says.
“I’m not going away. I will stay up until the last four friends are with me,” he said, according to a source.
McCarthy also swore in his speech, dropping a “damn.”

A source called it a heated rhetoric and said McCarthy made it clear he would no longer be negotiating. Another source told CNN that McCarthy took his opponents “to the stake like I’ve never seen before.”

McCarthy said naysayers came to him with “personal requests” Monday night, such as committee assignments and special assignments.

Representative Lauren Boebert shouted “bullshit*t” in response to his speech, according to a source.

GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, a McCarthy ally and incoming House Armed Services Speaker, said at the meeting that anyone who votes against McCarthy won’t get a committee, two sources told CNN.

CNN previously reported that this was a threat McCarthy’s allies were considering.

As an aide left the meeting, a CNN reporter watched through the open door as GOP members filled the room, listening silently. Maybe a dozen members were waiting to speak at the microphone that was in the central hallway.

Representative Chip Roy responded to Rogers’ comments at the open microphone and was upset, a source said. He got into a heated back-and-forth with the GOP leader, with McCarthy starting over Roy, while acknowledging he won’t get the votes on the first ballot, and then Roy replying, “Whatever you do is secure the vote.”

The conference applauded McCarthy as he took his detractors head-on.

Representative Ryan Zinke spoke out in favor of McCarthy saying, “I’ll use the words of Teddy Roosevelt. You’re either with us or against us. The stakes are too high. I’m with you Kevin.”

GOP Rep. Scott Perry had heated exchanges with McCarthy, even raising his voice during the closed-door meeting, multiple sources told CNN.

Perry accused McCarthy of not having a track record when it comes to expense bills. McCarthy asked Perry what he had left to give and asked why he was still fighting for the added sources.

CNN’s Manu Raju reports the latest from Capitol Hill:

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