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Friday, February 3, 2023

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Congressmen LaLota, Garbarino Sworn in After Contentious Speakership Race


After a grueling election that revealed intraparty feuding, Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA20) was elected, becoming the 55th Speaker of the House. The election, which lasted a historic 15 ballots, permitted the new Freshmen class of congress members to be sworn in – including Long Island Representatives Nick LaLota (R- NY01) and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY02).

The freshmen class of 2023 has already voted more times than many of their predecessors have had to for the speakership, with those in the Republican majority voting for a new rules package shortly after. This was designed, in part, to settle contentious points between the Republican Conference and the House’s Freedom Caucus.

“It took longer than expected, but it is an incredible honor to continue my service to our great country, our community, and the people of New York’s First District as their Congressman,” said LaLota, shortly after being sworn in. Long Islanders elected me to lower prices, secure our border, make our communities safer, help restore integrity and accountability in government, and fight for them in Washington,” LaLota added.

Additionally, LaLota stated between votes, “I voted for Kevin McCarthy for Speaker and I will vote for the recently proposed rule changes which include conservative wins such as term limits, balancing the budget, reigning in spending, and cutting the deficit. I firmly believe that Speaker McCarthy, our new rules, and the Commitment to America agenda provide the best plan to help move our country and Long Island forward. It is time to get to work!”

LaLota won the election for Lee Zeldin’s vacated seat, after the latter’s failed bid for governor, against Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac). 

LaLota was part of the regional “red wave,” contrary to national currents, which saw a Republican underperformance. “At the end of the day, I think these discussions were healthy,” Garbarino said on MSNBC after being sworn in, confident about the new Republican majority’s ability to legislate.

Brian R. Monahan
Brian R. Monahan
News Editor for The Messenger Papers.