“We’re not saving Kevin”: House Democrats refuse to rescue McCarthy’s speakership

House Democrats left their Tuesday morning closed-door meeting resolved to vote against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., after Republican hardliner and vocal McCarthy foe Rep. Matt Gaetz, Fla., filed a motion to vacate against the speaker Monday night, The Messenger reports. “We’re not saving Kevin McCarthy,” Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., told the outlet. “There’ll be a motion to table. A vote that was either present or yes would be saving Kevin McCarthy.”

The caucus held an extended meeting just hours before the House is expected to vote on a motion to table Gaetz’s motion, which he filed in hopes of ousting McCarthy from leadership this week over alleged broken promises. During the session, Democrats expressed their desire to present a unified front on the floor and their distrust of the California Republican. No members spoke in favor of coming to McCarthy’s aid, according to Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., and some even played videos of the speaker lying at press conferences or on TV while a few mentioned that past contentious Republican speakers like Paul Ryan resigned instead of forcing the chamber to endure more chaos. 

Noting that the requirements to pursue a motion to boot the speaker had fallen from 50 to 25 to five to one, Rep. Richie Neal, D-Mass., said that McCarthy brought the rampant GOP discord and Gaetz’s vow to oust him on himself by empowering the far-right flank of his conference in order to secure the speakership in January. “Once you seal the deal, you have to take the consequences,” he told reporters, adding, “For him then to retreat and take the threshold of the motion to vacate the chair down to one person, that conceivably puts one person in control of 434.” Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., told The Messenger after the meeting that “it’s their problem,” adding, “They have a civil war within their caucus and we’re not here to solve that. We’re here to govern.”


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