Did Gaetz just accidentally hand the Democrats a major win?
Speculation is growing that Matt Gaetz’s attempt to remove Kevin McCarthy from the speaker’s office may not go as planned, with reports suggesting that a bipartisan group of roughly 10 Democratic and Republican representatives is engaged in discussions to resolve the ongoing deadlock.
According to Newsweek, on October 3, McCarthy made history as the first U.S. speaker to be removed via a “motion to vacate” initiated by Gaetz. This unexpected turn of events has thrown the House into turmoil, leaving it unable to pass legislation, and with the looming threat of a partial government shutdown unless Congress approves additional funding.
Despite initially receiving substantial support from GOP lawmakers, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise decided to withdraw from the race to succeed McCarthy, citing the need for Republican unity. He acknowledged, “Our conference still has to come together, and it’s not there.”
Jim Jordan, a close ally of Donald Trump and the founding chair of the conservative Freedom Caucus, was ultimately selected as the new Republican nominee for the speaker’s office. However, Jordan’s path to victory remains uncertain, as just four dissenting GOP members, voting alongside the united Democratic caucus, can thwart any Republican candidate for speaker due to the party’s narrow House majority.
A group of approximately 10 representatives from both sides of the aisle has engaged in earnest discussions regarding a potential bipartisan compromise to break the impasse, as reported by Axios. This potential agreement might involve Democrats supporting a moderate Republican as the speaker in exchange for legislative or procedural concessions.
New in @Axios AM: A bipartisan group of roughly 10 members is holding what one moderate Republican described as “very” serious talks about a bipartisan speaker deal.
The question: “How many losses do you have to have to make that an acceptable outcome?" https://t.co/6g2x2wT8i5
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) October 13, 2023
Fox News host Laura Ingraham shared the news article on social media, emphasizing her earlier warning about the repercussions of McCarthy’s ouster, attributing it to Matt Gaetz’s actions. Gaetz responded, reassuring that this scenario is unlikely and that the new Speaker would be more conservative than McCarthy, offering his gratitude in advance.
Republican Representative Don Bacon, known for his bipartisan efforts, noted that there is a growing consensus among both Republicans and Democrats that the situation must be resolved.
Florida Republican Representative Maria Salazar, often seen as a moderate within her party, expressed openness to reasonable solutions, highlighting that bipartisanship should not be stigmatized.
Mike Rogers, the Republican chair of the armed services committee, urged the Democratic leadership to present their terms for a potential deal, while criticizing the minority party and GOP rebels for McCarthy’s removal.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries called for a bipartisan coalition to address the House’s chaos, dysfunction, and extremism, emphasizing the need for cooperation.
There is also talk of expanding the powers of acting Speaker Patrick McHenry to enable the passage of a new assistance package for Israel following the recent Hamas attack on October 7. Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul, a Republican, stressed that there may be no other option available to address this pressing issue.