Rep. Dan Meuser, one of the nine candidates running to be House speaker, outlined his pitch to the GOP conference ahead of the candidate forum this evening and said he would be opposed to passing Ukraine funding as part of an Israel package.
“We need to make the members the show, not the speaker the show. And so that means for fundraising, frankly, that means for communications that means for legislation, that means going through — for being a spokesperson that means doing everything we can to create a sense of ownership throughout the conference so everyone feels a responsibility. And once you feel a responsibility for policy, you can’t criticize it because it’s your own,” he told CNN’s Manu Raju.
When asked by CNN about the ongoing ill will pervasive throughout the conference, Meuser said you “need to work at it every day” and that he is “not interested in spending any energy on punishment” with regards to the eight Republicans who ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
“Well, perhaps it’s because some of the things that I mentioned, maybe some haven’t felt respected over the years, maybe there have been some legacy issues, maybe some personalities. I mean, let’s face it, Kevin McCarthy was taken out unfairly. Those people took him out. Most of them. Maybe all of them are my friends,” Meuser said.
“As I said, I respect each and every one of them. That’s got to be the case moving forward. Jim Jordan, I think was probably a response to those who took out Kevin McCarthy. Now, the next in line, whoever that’s going to be, one of the nine. Hopefully, they’re more agreeable to saying now it’s time, the American people want us to stop this dysfunction and get on with it,” Meuser continued.
When asked about tying Ukraine and Israel aid, Meuser responded: “Absolutely not. I think it’s. I think it’s wrong. And they should — we need to we need to make bills simpler.”
Meuser also said that he is not in favor of a short-term spending bill as the government heads closer to a potential government shutdown in mid-November.
More about the candidate: First elected in 2018, Meuser was previously appointed as Pennsylvania’s secretary of revenue in 2011 by former Gov. Tom Corbett, according to his office. Meuser serves on the Financial Services and Small Business Committees, on which he serves as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access. He is also a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.
CNN’s Jack Forrest contributed reporting to this post.