Interview: Libertarian Former Rep. Justin Amash Is Willing to Serve as Compromise House Speaker

"We have an oligarchy right now," says Amash.


Former Rep. Justin Amash, who became the first Libertarian member of Congress when he left the GOP during his final term in office, applauded efforts by insurgent House Republicans who have refused to confirm Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.) as Speaker of the House.

"This is representative government," Amash says. "For people on the left who talk about democracy all the time, this is how it's supposed to work."

In an appearance on Rising, the news show I co-host, Amash explained that everyone complaining about the spectacle of Republican dysfunction was missing the point.

"I don't understand why we always expect outcomes to happen instantly, and I see that from people in the media all the time saying 'This is an outrage, this is chaotic, etc.,'" says Amash.

McCarthy previously served as minority leader during Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's tenure. Republicans now hold the majority, but 20 members have refused to vote for McCarthy, portraying him as part of an out-of-touch GOP establishment. He has lost five votes so far: It takes a majority of all votes cast to elect a new Speaker, and Democrats remain united around their current Minority leader, New York Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.

Technically, the House speaker does not need to be a member of the House. Amash has offered to serve as a one-term, compromise speaker who would concentrate on diminishing the office's power and allow more actual debate and democracy on the floor of the House.

"We have an oligarchy right now," says Amash. "It's the leaders of the parties in Congress and it's the president of the United States. Those people are deciding everything."

Watch the rest of the interview below.