While Republicans struggle to elect a House Speaker, House Democrats have turned their attention to urging the party’s rank-and-file members to stay in Washington, D.C., for the duration of the voting sequence.
The move by Democrats will make an already complicated battle to elect a Speaker even more challenging for House Republicans.
On Thursday (January 5), incoming Democratic Whip Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.) told reporters that she had asked members of the Democratic caucus to give up any plans they had to ensure that the 212 lawmakers were present to vote for as long as the process drags on.
Clark explained her request wasn’t a “hard sell,” given Democratic lawmakers “understand what’s at stake.”
She added that the request wasn’t to prevent Democrats from carrying out their plans, but rather it was “about the dangerous moment that we are in” and the “chaos” Republicans were creating in the House of Representatives.
Clark added that Democrats “had to be” present on the House floor “to end this crisis to get a functioning House of Representatives.”
Clark made her comments on day 3 of the Republican House majority that has been marred by the GOP’s numerous unsuccessful attempts to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Speaker.
McCarthy’s efforts have been in vain as twenty conservative Republicans oppose him at every vote — a tally reaching 11 votes in three days.
McCarthy can only afford to lose four votes because of the 222-seat majority Republicans have in the lower chamber.
The California Republican also hasn’t had any success flipping votes from his opposition despite multiple rounds of voting and even more concessions.