Democrats gloat after House GOP majority fails to elect speaker for first time in 100 years

House Democrats on Tuesday took to Twitter for victory laps after Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries earned votes from all 212 members of the House Democratic Caucus, besting California Representative Kevin McCarthy in the first failed vote to elect a House Speaker since 1923.

Both Mr Jeffries and Mr McCarthy, the longtime House GOP leader, failed to earn an outright majority of the 434 members who were present and voting on the first day of the 118th Congress. Of the 222 House Republicans, 19 of them — more than four times the four-member cushion Mr McCarthy could lose and still be elected speaker, voted against the Californian, with 10 defecting to Andy Biggs of Arizona, six to Jim Jordan of Ohio, and three others voting for other Republican members.

Mr Jeffries wrote: “House Dems are united and ready to get to work,” and added that the GOP had “complete chaos on the other side of the aisle” in comparison.

Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal of Washington noted that members “might be here a while” — a nod to House rules that require a speaker to be elected before any other business can be considered — and observed that GOP control of the chamber “is really getting off to a good start”.

As a second voice vote for speaker began at approximately 3.30 pm Tuesday evening, Republicans still could not agree on a speaker, with Ohio’s Jim Jordan garnering enough votes to sink Mr McCarthy’s bid once more.

Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern noted that his California counterpart’s troubles were “his own fault”.

“Republicans have bent over backwards for the radical right, election deniers & QAnon tinfoil hat brigade,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The extremists hijacked his party. Now they're trying to hijack Congress. We will fight back,” he added.

Another veteran member, Democrat Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, didn’t even bother using many words to describe the chaos on the House floor.

On his own Twitter account, he said the GOP’s actions on their first day in power amounted to an animated GIF of a burning dumpster fire.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.