Several centrist Republicans are engaging in discussions to forge a bipartisan agreement amidst the ongoing struggle to decide the next Speaker of the House.
“Unofficial talks are already happening. Once we return to Washington tomorrow, it’s crucial to start making these discussions official,” stated House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this past Sunday.
These remarks surface while House Republicans continue to be embroiled in a tumultuous dispute over the future of the speakership, following Kevin McCarthy’s recent removal from the position.
On Friday, Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, received the nomination from a majority of his party but is anticipated to have a challenging journey in securing sufficient backing from fellow Republicans for a floor vote, especially with unanimous Democratic opposition expected.
This instability appears to have paved the way for potential cross-party collaboration, with Jeffries emphasizing that any agreement aims to keep “extremists” from setting the House agenda.
“The existing House rules allow a minority of Republicans to control the House’s legislative priorities, which goes against the American public’s interests. Altering these rules to encourage bipartisan cooperation should be where our discussions begin,” explained Jeffries.
However, this initiative might encounter significant resistance from the Republican side, particularly if a Democrat emerges as the candidate. Even moderate Republicans contend that endorsing a Democrat could be tantamount to “political self-destruction.”
“A Republican supporting a Democrat is out of the question,” declared Rep. Bob Good, a Republican from Virginia, in a conversation with Fox Business, “Such a move would be political self-destruction, even for the more centrist members.”
In the meantime, Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, pointed out that Democrats currently have the upper hand in both the Senate and the White House. He argued that Republicans should maintain their stance regarding their influence in the House.
“Several Republicans are considering a compromise with Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries for the Speaker’s election,” Massie communicated on a social platform known as X, which replaced Twitter. “Given the Democratic hold on the White House and Senate, relinquishing our hold on the House isn’t an option. Republicans need to rally behind Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House!”