On Tuesday, House Democrats indicated they would not come to the defense of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in an impending vote to potentially remove him from his leadership position.
After a lengthy meeting in the Capitol building, the consensus among House Democrats was to support the motion to remove McCarthy from the Speaker role.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, informed the media, “Our direction is clear; we won’t be backing Kevin McCarthy.”
When asked if the entire caucus had chosen not to back McCarthy, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) simply affirmed with a “yes.”
This development emerged a few hours before the scheduled House vote on McCarthy’s potential removal. The motion was initiated by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) the previous night. It’s anticipated there will be a preliminary vote on whether to sideline the removal motion or send it for committee review, before a full House vote on McCarthy’s position.
With a slim GOP majority in the House, even a few Republicans voting against McCarthy might leave his fate to the Democrats. To date, four Republican members have expressed their intent to side with Gaetz.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), previously ousted from a committee due to a McCarthy-led initiative, declared her plan to vote against McCarthy. “It’s hard to find a Democrat who’d want McCarthy as Speaker,” she commented.
Another opposing voice, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) stated, “He consistently breaks his promises. We can’t rely on him to lead such a crucial national institution.”
Interestingly, Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), known for occasionally siding with Republicans, also revealed his intent to vote against McCarthy. Golden emphasized that while Republicans should select their leaders, McCarthy doesn’t resonate with his district’s sentiments.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-Calif.) remained ambiguous about his stance. Emphasizing the party’s commitment to prioritizing citizens over politics, Jeffries urged Republicans to distance themselves from radical elements and collaborate with Democrats to progress the nation.
Later, he hinted that the onus is on the Republicans to resolve the Speaker dilemma, noting the lack of willingness from more radical members to seek common ground.
Finally, House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) summarized the group sentiment, suggesting a prevalent mistrust towards McCarthy among the Democratic members.