Republicans in Talks to Cut Deal with Democrats for House Speaker
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York, expressed his strong opposition to the GOP nominee for House speaker after a failed vote to fill the role on Tuesday. Jeffries addressed reporters outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C., following House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan’s unsuccessful attempt to secure enough votes on the House floor to win the speakership.
Jeffries Criticizes Jordan’s Extremist Stance
Jeffries criticized Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, after his initial speaker vote failed with 20 Republican votes against him. Jeffries referred to Jordan as the “poster child of MAGA extremism” and claimed that he is not one of the respected Republicans among the House Democrats.
During the press conference, Jeffries hinted at ongoing informal talks with some Republicans but did not provide further details.
Jeffries Urges Bipartisan Cooperation
Expressing hope that Jordan lacks the necessary votes to become speaker, Jeffries stated that he expects the discussions to accelerate in the evening. He emphasized that House Democrats are prepared to find bipartisan common ground on any issue to improve the lives of everyday Americans.
Jeffries called on Republicans to distance themselves from extremists and collaborate with Democrats to advance the business of the American people. He highlighted that the Republicans are currently unable to function independently, presenting two options: continuing to appease the most extreme members of their conference or partnering with Democrats for a bipartisan path forward.
Jeffries concluded by stating that all options are on the table.
Other House Democrats Speak Out
Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, also criticized Republicans on Twitter for the absence of a speaker of the House. Swalwell claimed that this outcome was to be expected with the current Republican leadership.
Jordan Loses First-Round Vote
Jim Jordan lost the first-round vote for House speaker on Tuesday, with 20 Republicans joining all Democrats in opposing his candidacy. Majority Leader Steve Scalise received seven Republican votes, while six GOP lawmakers voted for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Three moderate New York Republicans voted for former GOP Representative Lee Zeldin. Additional votes were cast for House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole, Majority Whip Tom Emmer, Representative Mike Garcia, and Representative Thomas Massie.
Jordan announced his intention to hold another vote later in the day, emphasizing the need to promptly elect a speaker and resume working for the American people.
A spokesperson for Scalise reiterated his support for whomever the conference nominates for speaker.