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Babin sworn into 118th Congress amid Speaker battle

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    U.S. Congressman Brian Babin ( TX-36) on a stop at First Liberty Bank last summer. The Vindicator | Russell Payne

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, the 118th Congress was sworn into office, including U. S. Congressman Brian Babin ( TX-36); of course, the official ceremony was delayed by some theatrics.

Those theatrics came from Republican members of the House that found themselves at odds over the election of a new Speaker of the House.

“ It is clear that we are firm in our beliefs, cling to what’s right, and lead by action rather than mere words. With the unwavering determination to protect our constitutional principles, we will make certain our government remains of, by, and for the people to the very end.”

The events of last week made history, as it was the first time since

, 1923 that the House failed to elect a speaker on the first ballot.

In the end, Republicans worked through their issues. Eventually, Speaker Kevin McCarthy ( CA- 20) made concessions to guarantee votes on a balanced budget amendment, term limits in Congress, and more representation of Freedom Caucus members on committees, amongst other items.

McCarthy was finally elected and sworn in as Speaker on Saturday morning after 15 votes and lots of backroom politics.

“ This week, we saw democracy hard at work, and I believe we all move forward stronger because of it,” said Babin. “ The compromises made on the House floor will empower us as individual members to fight the Democrats’ woke ideology that is destroying the country.”

While Babin, who voted each time for McCarthy, believes the events of last week will only strengthen the Republican’s mission, local Democratic Party Chair Michael Mark thinks the election of Mc-Carthy weakens Republicans and leaves McCarthy beholden to what he calls extremists in the party.

“ Not since 1860, when it took 44 ballots, has it taken 15 ballots to elect a Speaker of the House. The spectacle of a Republican majority unable to muster the votes to elect a speaker raised ridicule across the nation. There is no doubt that the concessions Kevin McCarthy made to extremist Republicans to win their votes means he has finally grasped the speaker’s gavel in a much weaker position than previous speakers,” said Mark.

On the flip side of the coin locally, Republican Party Chairwoman Emily Cook had a different take.

“ Standing up to the status quo is quite refreshing. What many do not understand is that in both state and local government, the way our legislative bodies work in regards to institutional rules many times determine whether the will of the people who elected them gets accomplished. Kudos to those courageous members of Congress who said you know what, we have an opportunity to govern better, and we’re going to take full advantage of it. ‘ Business- as- usual’ is not what our country needs right now.”

As for Babin, he appears ready to hit the ground running as he begins his fifth term in Congress, where he has represented Liberty County and most of Southeast Texas.

“ I have once again sworn my oath and am ready to fight tirelessly to ensure you are free, safe, and have every tool necessary to prosper. Now, let’s get to work!”