Home Top Stories If GOP won’t unite, Rep. Mike Turner says a deal “will have to be done” with Democrats for new speaker

If GOP won’t unite, Rep. Mike Turner says a deal “will have to be done” with Democrats for new speaker

If GOP won’t unite, Rep. Mike Turner says a deal “will have to be done” with Democrats for new speaker


If House Republicans won’t rally behing Rep. Jim Jordan or another GOP member to become speaker, GOP Rep. Mike Turner said Sunday that “obviously” a “deal will have to be done” with Democrats for a leader of the lower chamber. 

Turner, a Republican from Ohio who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, told “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan on Sunday that Jordan, the right-wing Judiciary Committee chair, is his pick for McCarthy’s successor. Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina said the same during an appearance on “Face the Nation” last weekend. 

Mace was one of eight Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted with all Democrats to oust McCarthy from his role as House Speaker, in a historic revolt by right-wing lawmakers that came in response to McCarthy’s reliance on Democrats to pass funding to avoid a government shutdown. Turner voted alongside the vast majority of Republicans to keep McCarthy as speaker, which is second in line for the presidency. 

Since then, the GOP has split as it attempts to elect a new leader. Republican lawmakers on Wednesday selected Majority Leader Steve Scalise as their nominee for House Speaker, with Scalise beating out Jordan in a vote among Republicans by 113 to 99. Scalise later withdrew his name from consideration, and House Republicans on Friday nominated Jordan, with members saying Jordan won 124 votes. 

A speaker needs to be elected by a majority of the full House, which in this case is 217 votes, since there are two vacacines. Republicans hold a slim majority in the House, meaning they cannot lose more than four votes. The vote in the House is set to be held Tuesday, and Democrats have advised their caucus to vote for the top House Democrat, Hakeem Jeffries. 

The House has not been able to proceed with business as usual since McCarthy’s removal, and calls have grown tremendously for representatives to settle on a replacement in light of the Israel-Hamas war. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said earlier Sunday that the Biden administration will be requesting more than $2 billion from Congress as part of a bundled aid package for Ukraine and, now, Israel. But the legislature is paralyzed until a new speaker of the House is elected, which Turner called “a tragedy” in his appearance on “Face the Nation.”

Rep. Mike Turner on “Face the Nation,” Oct. 15, 2023.

CBS news

“Kevin McCarthy was fired because he had sought a bipartisan solution to keep the government open and those who wanted to close down the government instead they closed down the House of Representatives with the aides of Democrats,” Turner said, characterizing the move as “a very bad deal for America” and “a bad deal for Hakeem Jeffries.”

“It’s gonna be hard for them in the future to come- if they want to work in bipartisanship when they fired the guy that was sitting there for doing so,” said Turner.  “So, at this point, I would prefer there to be a Republican solution, because when they rejected bipartisanship, it’s kind of hard to then go back to it.”

Turner said he believes Jordan would “be an excellent speaker,” and, “if not, we have other leaders in the House.” 

“And certainly, if there is a need if the radical, you know, almost just handful of people in the Republican side … make it for us unable to be able to return to general work on the House, then I think obviously, there will be a deal we’ll have to be done,” he added.

Jeffries, the top House Democrat, discussed the race for speaker on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday, saying that “there have been informal discussions” between House Democrats and Republicans aiming to work toward creating a bipartisan governing coalition. Jeffries said he believes the conversations should start formally this coming week.

“We have made clear publicly and privately that we are ready, willing and able to enter into a bipartisan governing coalition,” he said, adding, “we are ready to be reasonable in finding the common ground necessary.” 

Jeffries said Democrats are looking to change some of the rules that dictate how the legislature can operate, so that bills with strong bipartisan support can move to a floor vote.

“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,” he said, noting that a small group of Republicans currently wield huge influence in the chamber and are “able to determine what gets voted on in the House of Representatives.”


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