While Democrats aren’t formally engaged in trying to flip any Republican speaker votes yet, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) powerfully argued why five of them should vote for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for speaker.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:
Given that the vote for Speaker was supposed to be yesterday, it seems much more realistic for 5 Republican members in Biden districts to vote Jeffries than it is for Mr. “David Duke without the Baggage” to flip 107 people in overtime https://t.co/KMWIuCo54R
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 12, 2023
The math is simple. The odds of Steve Scalise flipping 107 votes are not great, so it would be much easier for 5 House Republicans in districts that President Biden won to vote for Hakeem Jeffries. Rep. Jeffries represents stable leadership and governing. Electing Jeffries would end the chaos.
Frankly, the only other Republican option is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). He also can’t win a speaker election. Kevin McCarthy has said that he doesn’t want to come back, so either the House stays wholly broken, and House Republicans get wiped out in next year’s election, or some version of a bipartisan majority is formed and ends the tyranny of the MAGA minority.
In a sane world, five Republicans would cross over and end the insanity. However, House politics are about self-interest, and five incumbent House Republicans will not serve themselves up to be primaried in 2024 by voting for Hakeem Jeffries.
House Democrats like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez should keep trying, but the nation is probably stuck being hostages of the MAGA chaos mongers of the House.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association