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Texas Rep. Chip Roy quotes MLK in his fourth vote against McCarthy

In a speech on the House floor Wednesday, Texas Rep. Chip Roy quoted civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. after he voted for Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, who is Black, as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“We do not seek to judge people by the color of their skin but rather the content of their character,» Roy said. «There’s an important reason for nominating Byron, and that is: this country needs a change. This country needs leadership that does not reflect this city, this town that is badly broken.»

This is the fourth vote Roy has cast against GOP leader Kevin McCarthy. Roy also backed Donalds in the first vote, before switching his support Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who in turn cast his vote for McCarthy all four times. 

Roy didn’t specify what he meant about “leadership that doesn’t reflect this city,” but according to the 2022 census, Washington D.C.’s population is 45 percent Black and 45 percent white.

This vote also comes after former President Donald Trump urged the far-right members to vote for McCarthy. 

In the latest vote count, McCarthy received 201 votes, Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jefferies of New York received 212 votes, and Donalds received 20. Republican Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz voted present, lowering the number of votes needed for a nomination to 217. 

It’s important to note Roy was one of three members of Congress who voted against the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act in March of 2022. The Emmett Till act made lynching a federal hate crime and raised the punishment level to 30 years in prison. 

At the time, Roy said the act only served the “woke agenda.”

«It simply raises the punishment for things that are already federal crimes, including those that are unrelated to lynching—such as gender identity—in an effort to advance a woke agenda under the guise of correcting racial injustice,” Roy said in a statement in March 2022. 

A fifth round of voting started Wednesday afternoon on the House floor. 

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