As the 118th Congress reconvenes for the fourth day with no Speaker some lawmakers can feel the desperation in the air.
As House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy heads into what will be the twelfth round of voting one of the more boisterous detractors says he is prepared to resign from Congress if Republicans strike a deal with Democrats to support a more moderate candidate.
“These 212 Democrats are going to vote for Hakeem Jeffries every single time. He’s a historic candidate. They’re not going to cleave off,” Gaetz told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Thursday when asked if he thought centrist Democrats would back McCarthy if they were promised co-control of House committees.
“If Democrats join up to elect a moderate Republican, I will resign,” Gaetz continued.
Gaetz, who has voted against McCarthy’s nomination during each round of voting says that no concessions the California Republican offers swill be enough to sway his vote.
“He’s the masthead of the lobby core. I resent to which Kevin McCarthy utilizes the lobbyists and the special interests to be able to dictate how political decisions are made. How policy decisions are made, how leadership decisions are made. Kevin McCarthy has been in the leadership for 14 years. He’s sold shares of himself to special interests, to political action committees, and that’s why I don’t think he’s right.”
The Florida Congressman, who cast his vote for Donald Trump for Speaker during Thursday’s round of voting, says that he believes Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) could garner 218 votes if McCarthy withdraws from consideration.
“If Kevin McCarthy got out of this race, Jim Jordan would get into it,” Gaetz said. “And I believe he would win and invigorate our movement. He’s broadly trusted in every corner of the Republican Party and with a lot of our donors and supporters and activists. That’s the type of option if McCarthy bows out.”
Thursday evening McCarthy indicated he may have a path to Speaker after all. A new deal has emerged that McCarthy hopes will propel him forward.
Lawmakers said the framework gives members of the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) who have been resisting McCarthy virtually everything they’ve been asking for. That includes a stronger HFC representation on key House committees, guardrails aimed at curbing excessive federal spending, and allowing just a single member of the House to make a motion to replace the speaker, lawmakers familiar with the framework told Fox News.