(WJHL) – U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) releases an exclusive statement to Josh Smith of News Channel 11 regarding Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) recent battle for Speaker of the House.

“The House Republican Conference has unified and elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy as the next Speaker of the House,” Harshbarger stated. “After lots of deliberation, we brokered a rules package that empowers members of our conference.”

Harshbarger released the statement Saturday after he House worked early into the morning to elect a speaker and pass procedural rules.

“Now, it’s time we get to work for the American people and deliver our promise of stopping Joe Biden and advancing America First policies and principles,” Harshbarger concluded.

This is the first time Harshbarger has released any comment regarding the battle over the house speaker. McCarthy went through 14 rounds of voting before he was finally elected speaker on the 15 ballot.

The final vote was 216 for McCarthy and 212 for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies (D-N.Y.)

According to the Associated Press, McCarthy credits former United States President Donald Trump and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) for convincing Republican holdouts to vote present.

Also according to the AP, Gaetz’s “present” vote on the 14th round of voting set off chaos, including Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) going up to the group around Gaetz in anger, and Rep, Richard Hudson (R- N.C.) having to pull Rogers back.

News Channel 11 also contacted Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) for comment earlier in the week and on Thursday Griffith stated that the speaker battle is Congress working as intended.