While House Democrats would like to see House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., become the next speaker of the House of Representatives, some say it’s simply not a reality.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives held its second round of votes for House speaker nominee Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
The Republican lawmaker, an ally of former President Donald Trump, received 199 votes on Wednesday, one less vote than he had in the first round. Meanwhile, Rep. Jeffries had the backing of every House Democrat in both rounds and amassed 212 votes.
In order to become the next speaker of the House, Jeffries needs the backing of just five House Republicans. Jeffries would become the first Black House speaker in U.S. history if installed to the speakership.
Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas., told theGrio, “It’s not going to happen.”
“It’s a great thought, but the idea that there are enough Republicans that have that kind of courage – I think it took a lot of courage for them to vote against Jim Jordan in the first place – but definitely crossing over and voting for Hakeem would kind of be the kiss of death,” said the outspoken freshman congresswoman.
However, the Texas lawmaker said she believes “behind closed doors, there would actually be a number of Republicans [who] would be relieved if Hakeem Jeffries was actually the speaker.”
“I think that they wouldn’t have to worry about the wars that exist with the far-right flank…because Hakeem operates from a more centrist space,” she added.
Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., told theGrio, “Stranger things have likely never happened.”
“It would have to take an earth-shattering, hell-freezes-over moment for Republicans to have the humility needed to elect somebody who is capable of doing the job,” she said.
Lee added, “We would all like to see that…but I don’t think that they will ever exhibit the type of self-awareness and humility needed to do what’s needed right now in this moment.”
Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., agreed with his fellow House Democrats about the uphill battle of electing Jeffries as speaker.
“They didn’t do that beginning in January, and I doubt they’re inclined to do it now. However, if there is a need to get a temporary speaker in place, then I think Hakeem is the one that can make that happen,” he said.
Republicans have been at odds within their own caucus since taking control of the House earlier this January when it took 15 rounds of hours-long votes to elect a speaker.
Ultimately, the GOP coalesced around Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. However, McCarthy was ousted from the role after fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida proposed a resolution to remove him.
McCarthy’s far-right Republican critics voted against him because he struck a bipartisan deal with Democrats to keep the government funded hours before a shutdown. Now, some of those same far-right critics are working to elect one of their own – Congressman Jordan.
Although Jordan does not have the support of some members of his party, Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., believes that he is the right candidate for the job.
Donalds, one of four Black Republicans in the House, told theGrio, “I don’t agree with Hakeem. I don’t agree with his policy set, so I can’t vote for him.”
“The only thing that really matters now is electing a speaker and moving forward. I believe that should be Jim Jordan,” he said.
Donalds continued, “People have known Jim for a long time and around the country, but the Jim they don’t know is a man who is actually quite thoughtful, a man who really wants to engage and have discussions with all of our members.”
After losing two straight rounds, Jordan is reportedly expected to support a plan to keep Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., as the interim House speaker until January.
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