Democrat strategists are mounting pressure against 18 Republicans representing congressional districts won by President Biden in 2020 ahead of the vote for new House speaker.
House Majority Forward and Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund, two top Democratic groups, released a memo Wednesday saying those 18 Republicans have the opportunity to demand that the next House speaker commit to working with Democrats to pass government funding measures following Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s ouster from the position.
It seems to suggest that whoever they vote for as the new speaker will have election implications come 2024.
“These 18 Republicans face a clear choice: put the country first by working in a bipartisan fashion – as the Senate is doing – to prevent a painful government shutdown or continue to march in lockstep with MAGA extremists like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, and Lauren Boebert. This moment is a true test of their character,” the memo penned by CAP Action President Navin Nayak and House Majority Forward President Mike Smith says.
Gaetz, R-Fla., led the fight to remove McCarthy from the speakership for working with Democrats to pass a resolution preventing a government shutdown for at least another 45 days.
Eight Republicans and all Democrats voted in support of McCarthy’s ouster last week. Though Greene, R-Ga., and Boebert, R-Colo., did not support removing McCarthy as speaker, both did demand steep spending cuts and policy provisions that were rejected by Democrats before the 45-day resolution was cleared.
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., are the two declared candidates for new speaker.
“With a divided government, the only path to keeping the government open is a bipartisan approach. These 18 Republicans will face the same test that other Republicans have faced when staring down the extremism of MAGA: put your party first by leaving the extremists in charge or put your country first,” the memo obtained by The Hill says. “As early as today, we will know which choice they make. Either way, their political fate will be sealed.”
“House Republicans in Biden-won districts have refused to stand up to the MAGA extremists that have driven the appropriations process. In fact, 17 of the 18 voted for all four of the party’s first appropriations bills to pass the House,” according to the memo, which says the bills were “filled with extreme policies and a far-right culture war wishlist items.”
“Finally, all 18 of these Republicans supported a continuing resolution that would have slashed many federal investments by 30 percent, gutting programs working families depend on, like the administration of Social Security, affordable housing, and home heating assistance,” Nayak and Smith wrote.
The speaker vote could take place as early as Wednesday afternoon. The House Republican Conference will hold its internal election to select its nominee for speaker of the House Wednesday morning. It is possible in this meeting the GOP Conference could also vote on internal rules changes ahead of a speaker vote.
Most notably, the conference may vote to raise the threshold for the internal speaker nominee from a simple majority of Republicans to a number high enough to win a speaker election on the House floor with a majority of the chamber. Currently, that number is 217.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.