Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The battle royal continued on Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives as Kevin McCarthy of California was rebuffed in seven straight votes to become Speaker of the House.

KGVO News spoke to Congressman Ryan Zinke early Thursday morning about his thoughts and his votes on the chairmanship.

Zinke said 'It LOOKS like chaos because it IS chaos'

“I can tell you from the outside it looks like chaos, and from the inside it is chaos,” said Zinke. “So this is not about a Speaker (of the House). This is about whether Republicans can govern. We have issues of inflation, of energy, of housing, of the border, and none of this can get addressed unless we have a speaker and we have committees in to address it.”

Zinke, a U.S. Navy veteran and former Seal Team 6 Commander, put his thoughts in military terms.

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Zinke sees the Chairmanship Battle in Military Terms

“Generals don't win wars is the frontline,” began Zinke. “The frontline steps up and does their duty in the house. Kevin (McCarthy) doesn't pass bills. It's the members in the committees that pass bills and no one likes these continuing resolutions and these omnibus bills. This out-of-control spending needs to be stopped now, and the only way you can stop it is to go to regular order, which is a lot of work. And in order to get the work done, you have to start and we're already behind.”

Regarding his Republican colleague Matt Rosendale, he acknowledged their differences in the choice of a Speaker of the House, as Zinke has consistently voted for Kevin McCarthy.

“I respect Matt, and look, I'm hoping we do what's an interest of Montana,” he said. Because over the (holiday) break it’s just as we talked about on your show, I said they're going after our guns. They're going after our water, and we’ve seen the Waters of the U.S. come out of this administration. They're going after our Montana lifestyle, and we're going to have to defend it.”

Zinke Touted his Prior Experience in Washington, D.C.

Zinke said his former experience as a Congressman and as the Interior Secretary will stand him in good stead as this decision-making process continues.

“I'm a little bit unique because I'm a former cabinet member, too,” he said. “I have a relationship with President Trump, and I have an influence. But I don't use my influence to say it's either my way or the highway, because during this session, I'm going to have to go to other members and ask them to vote for issues that are really important to Montana.”

Zinke said ‘to air all our differences in public like this is damaging’.

As of late Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C. the issue had still not been settled.

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