Would Democrats help McCarthy secure speakership?

Politics

(NewsNation) — After six votes, the House adjourned Wednesday with still no speaker after a group of Republican hard-liners continued to refuse to support Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Could he look to Democrats for help?

It’s a question that’s arisen following the marathon session of votes the past two days that have all resulted in the same outcome: McCarthy falling nearly two dozen votes shorts of winning the speakership. The House will return at noon Thursday to try again.

Julia Manchester, politics reporter for The Hill, says likely not, because Democrats have an opportunity to “create contrast” by showing continued unity in backing Hakeem Jeffries.

“Obviously, I think (on) both sides of the aisle, there are members that want to see business go on and want to see a speaker elected so lawmakers can do their jobs. However, politically I have to say when you watch Democrats, they have an opportunity here to create a contrast,” Manchester said Wednesday on “Rush Hour.”

McCarthy could have support from at least one Democrat: Marcy Kaptur of Ohio. She said Tuesday it’s time for Congress “to be grown-ups” and signaled she would be open to crossing party lines.

Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, likened the GOP infighting to a “wild family” that bickers from time to time.

“There are still talks going on, so we have to explore that out,” Moore said on “Dan Abrams Live.” “There’s always a little bit of drama when it comes to speaker votes, especially when you have a small majority.”

There’s also the “nuclear” option of electing a speaker by plurality, meaning a candidate could win the post with fewer than 218 votes. But that has its own risks: Jeffries has the backing of his entire caucus, garnering 212 votes to McCarthy’s 202.

“I don’t think we’re (there) yet,” Moore said. “If this drags on and on, anything’s possible, in my opinion.”

The debacle has laid bare the fractures within the Republican Party, pitting the most conservative among them against their more moderate colleagues.

Michael Starr Hopkins, former senior adviser on Charlie Crist’s gubernatorial campaign, argued the debacle is hurting the party’s chances in 2024. He said on “Dan Abrams Live” that Democrats shouldn’t throw McCarthy a lifeline.

“Voters came out and said they didn’t want chaos, they didn’t want this type of leadership, and that’s exactly what they’re getting with Republicans now,” Hopkins said. “Why would we give Republicans the opportunity to be bailed out of a situation which they created?”

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