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House Dem Leader Wants Formal Talks For Bipartisan Speaker Deal

 House   Democrats are ready to formalize talks about putting together a bipartisan coalition to elect a new speaker, according to Minority ...

 House Democrats are ready to formalize talks about putting together a bipartisan coalition to elect a new speaker, according to Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Kristen Welker, moderator of NBC’s “Meet The Press,” asked Jeffries during an interview on Sunday whether there are behind-the-scenes conversations with GOP lawmakers that could result in a “governing coalition” in the House.

“There are informal conversations that have been underway. When we get back to Washington tomorrow, it’s important to begin to formalize those discussions,” Jeffries said.

Republicans have a majority in the House and have struggled to rally behind a single candidate after Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted as speaker nearly two weeks ago.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) secured his party’s nomination but dropped out late last week, citing “schisms that have to be resolved.” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) won the nomination in a second round of voting but has yet to garner enough support to take the speaker’s gavel.

With Democrats united in nominating Jeffries as their nominee for speaker, Republicans can only afford to lose a handful of votes to secure the simple majority needed to control the speaker’s gavel unless there is a bipartisan compromise.

Jeffries said Democrats are “ready to be reasonable” when negotiating with the other party on some sort of consensus.

“We want to ensure that votes are taken on bills that have substantial Democratic support and substantial Republican support so that the extremists aren’t able to dictate the agenda,” Jeffries said.


“The current rules of the House have facilitated a handful of Republicans being able to determine what gets voted on in the House of Representatives and that undermines the interests of the American people,” he added. “We can change the rules to facilitate bipartisanship and that should be the starting point of our conversation.”

There is a sense of urgency as Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who is serving as speaker pro tempore, is limited in what he can do in the temporary role at a time when Israel goes to war with Hamas after a terrorist attack last weekend and a government shutdown possible by mid-November.

While some have suggested empowering McHenry to get legislative business back on track, in the short term, others voiced opposition to a bipartisan compromise.

“Some Republicans want to cut a deal with Democrat leader Hakeem Jeffries to elect a Speaker. With Democrats controlling the White House and the Senate, we must not give up control of the House,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said in a post to X on Sunday. “Republicans should unite behind Jim Jordan as our Speaker of the House!”

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