Democrats Urged to Stay in Washington for Weekend to Oppose McCarthy 

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House Democrats were urged by Democrat leaders to remain in Washington, DC, over the weekend to oppose Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) speakership bid.

Democrats are working with about 20 House conservatives to prevent McCarthy from becoming House speaker.

Incoming Democrat House whip Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) told reporters she is asking all 212 Democrat lawmakers to remain in the district to prevent McCarthy’s nomination for speaker.

“And this is not a hard sell, because they understand what’s at stake,” Clark claimed.

“This isn’t about events and celebrations that they have planned, which of course, you know, we would love to be able to do,” she added. “But this is about the dangerous moment that we are in. And it is about the chaos that the Republicans are creating.”

Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) speaks during a press conference after a House Democratic Caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on January 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“So we have to be here to make sure that we are doing everything possible to end this crisis to get a functioning House of Representatives, and to get to work for the American people,” she said.

So far, all Democrats on each round have voted for election denier Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for House speaker. The Democrats’ willingness to support an election denier contradicts many on the left who attacked Republicans for questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

McCarthy, meanwhile, has about 20 opposing conservative votes, and must win over about 16 conservative critics. McCarthy’s margin of error is four votes.

Over the weeks, McCarthy has conceded more than 15 requests by the conservative holdouts to become speaker, though critics say the concessions are not enforceable.

The previous four concessions included: allowing a one-member motion threshold to force the vote to oust a speaker (instead of five), allowing more House Freedom Caucus members on the House Rules Committee (two seats), pledging to hold votes on lawmaker term limits and border security bills, and permitting major changes to the appropriations process to prevent another omnibus bill by allowing floor amendments to be offered by any lawmaker.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.

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