Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the chamber’s longest serving Republican, said on Wednesday that the campaign for House speaker by fellow Utah GOPer Rep. Jason Chaffetz could plunge Congress even further into “chaos” as the fall budget debates begin.
Hatch, the Senate pro tempore who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said Chaffetz’s efforts could prevent Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from getting the necessary support.
“Which is in my view a pretty bad thing. The more the House stays in chaos, the worse it will be,” Hatch told Politico on Wednesday.
Chaffetz is also seen as inexperienced, though McCarthy has only been Congress a short while longer.
“What will be held against him by some is he has only been in Congress for a short period of time, and may or may not have built up enough cachet to be the speaker,” Hatch said. “McCarthy hasn’t been here that long either, but he’s been here longer than Jason. It does take a lot of experience to be able to run some of these things. Just look at Sen. (Mitch) McConnell: He’s a master.”