Democrats weigh whether to rescue McCarthy from GOP overthrow attempt | ET REALITY


The far-right threat to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy from office has presented House Democrats with a complicated question: Should they help rescue the California Republican who has worked against their agenda and recently opened a impeachment inquiry against President Biden?

McCarthy’s slim majority and the size of the group of right-wing rebels working to depose him mean he has little chance of surviving a vote to keep his job – which requires a majority – without at least some support from Democrats.

But it is almost unheard of for minority members to vote for the opposing party’s presidential candidate. Senior party officials suggest that, given McCarthy’s multiple partisan transgressions, they would be highly unlikely to do so now without a clear commitment on his part to involve Democrats more in government.

“I’m not a cheap date,” said Rep. James P. McGovern of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee, who, like other Democrats, said he had serious trust issues with the president.

As they returned to work after a confusing Saturday when Congress adopted McCarthy’s last-minute move to keep the government open until mid-November, senior Democrats said they had not made a firm decision on whether they would help him defeat a challenge from Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida.

Gaetz on Monday accused McCarthy of working for Biden, demanding he explain any negotiations he had with the White House over the spending bill and hinting at formal action against the president later that week.

If Gaetz pulls the trigger on his threat to call a vote to remove McCarthy from the House’s top job, Democrats say they won’t be willing to help him without something meaningful in return. Democratic officials said that, absent some kind of tangible, enforceable concession from McCarthy that would benefit them, they couldn’t envision enough numbers supporting him to offset Republican defections.

However, Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, has not made any firm decisions with his lieutenants on how to proceed. Democrats were expected to meet later Monday and Tuesday to discuss their position.

His options include siding with McCarthy’s right-wing detractors by voting to impeach him, joining the majority of Republicans in backing him, or helping him in more passive ways: either by not showing up to the vote or voting “present,” both options reducing the vote. threshold necessary to obtain the majority and retain his position.

As of Monday afternoon, McCarthy had not approached Democrats with any offer in exchange for their help, and Democrats had not yet approached him with a question, according to people on both sides familiar with the matter and who They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it.

Democrats have been strategizing internally about what concessions they could get from McCarthy in exchange for saving him from Gaetz and his allies. Democrats are eager to see McCarthy commit to providing more funding for Ukraine, awarding more federal projects in Democratic districts and honoring the agreement on spending levels he reached earlier this year with Biden, according to people familiar with the discussions. All of this would provoke a violent reaction from Republicans.

Some Democrats have also floated ideas that seem less likely to be implemented, such as requiring committee co-chairs, removing right-wing Republicans from the Rules Committee and even securing a promise that GOP campaign committees will not spend money to defeat them politically. Vulnerable Democrats.

Aiding McCarthy is not without political risks for Democrats. If they go for the president, their own voters might be dissatisfied with an effort to rescue a Republican leader who has aligned himself so closely with former President Donald J. Trump and invested so much political capital to unseat Biden.

If Democrats were to save McCarthy, they are considering whether some of them would vote “present” or skip the vote, a move that would allow the Republican to remain president without Democrats actively supporting him.

Collaborating with Democrats could also backfire for the president, giving Republicans already unhappy with him over the spending measure more ammunition to push for his impeachment.

Gaetz practically dared McCarthy to negotiate cross-party to save his job. He suggested that McCarthy had reached a “secret side deal” with Biden to continue financial support for Ukraine as the country defends itself against a Russian invasion. And he criticized the president for teaming up with Democrats to keep the government open.

“Working with Democrats is a yellow brick road that has been paved by President McCarthy,” Gaetz added.

It’s clear that many Democrats are in no rush to save the president. Many have been frustrated by his actions targeting far-right members of his party, including his loyalty to Trump and his opening last month of the impeachment inquiry, even in the absence of any evidence of misconduct.

Democrats have a litany of complaints about how they believe the president has wronged them. Last weekend, they accused him of stonewalling them with a 71-page interim bill without time to review it. McCarthy then appeared on a Sunday news show portraying Democrats as the party that supported a shutdown, when it was mostly Democrats who passed the legislation that prevented it.

But her antipathy towards him runs much deeper. While she first blamed Trump for the events of January 6, 2021, she later flew to Florida to meet with the then-president and try to patch things up in a public show of loyalty. He also sought to undermine the credibility of the committee formed on Jan. 6 when Democrats still held the majority. He negotiated a spending deal with Biden in the spring and then backed away from him under pressure from his far right. He said he would not launch any impeachment inquiry without a floor vote, but then reneged and called for an investigation when he faced a rebellion over spending legislation.

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