House Democratic leaders will not save Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., if Republicans move to remove his gavel, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said on Tuesday.
‘Given their unwillingness to break from MAGA extremism in an authentic and comprehensive manner, House Democratic leadership will vote yes on the pending Republican Motion to Vacate the Chair,’ Jeffries said in a letter to colleagues after a lengthy caucus meeting behind closed doors.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a staunch critic of McCarthy, first issued a motion to vacate the Speaker on Monday night over what he says are broken promises in the government spending patch.
McCarthy likely has to rely on Democrats to save his job with at least five Republicans expected to vote in favor of ousting him. House Democratic caucus members might still vote to keep McCarthy in his post, even if Democratic leaders won’t save him.
‘We confront a serious, solemn and sober moment,’ Jeffries’ letter stated. ‘The vote that the House will cast this week in connection with a Motion to Vacate the Chair is not about any one individual. Our responsibility as Members of Congress relates to the Constitution, the principle of good governance and the people we are privileged to serve. Nothing more, and nothing less.’
‘In that regard, House Democrats remain willing to find common ground on an enlightened path forward. Unfortunately, our extreme Republican colleagues have shown no willingness to do the same,’ it continued. ‘It is now the responsibility of the GOP members to end the House Republican Civil War.’
On the House floor Tuesday, a motion to table Gaetz’s motion commenced with 15 minutes to cast their votes. The motion was shot down, with several Republicans voting not to table it.
McCarthy can only afford to lose a handful of GOP votes, and if Gaetz’s motion succeeds, all proceedings on the House floor will freeze and the House will then be required to conduct successive roll call votes until a new speaker is elected.
Five GOP lawmakers – Reps. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., Bob Good, R-Va., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Eli Crane, R-Ariz. – have said they are voting against keeping McCarthy as speaker. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., has strongly suggested he would do so as well.