Representative Susan Wild (D-Pa) said, “Look, January 6th is going to roll around every year, like Pearl Harbor Day rolls around every year, to be treated like just another day on the calendar.” “I want us to keep going till we get the speaker. This is nonsense.”
The House will return to session on Friday for what is expected to be McCarthy’s 12th attempt to win the top gavel. Hours after the GOP leader and his leadership team held a conference call Friday morning to update members on the status of talks, he appeared to gain some momentum late Thursday by making specific concessions to hardline members of the GOP convention — his Offering allies will hopefully move votes in their direction.
But heavy uncertainty remained Friday morning, as members of the Trump-aligned Freedom Caucus had not yet committed their support to McCarthy and a handful of other holdouts continued to signal their opposition. Not to mention that McCarthy’s moderate allies, many of whom represent districts won by Biden, are increasingly making concessions to the right.
“If this continues to be the face of the GOP in 2024, we will be bashed in presidential and congressional elections,” said centrist Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.). “We could have won more seats in 2022, but many people fear extremes in the GOP even before then.”
Underscoring the difference between the historic anniversary and the ongoing speakership drama, a top aide to former Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the stand Friday against members of the Oath House — accusing them of a seditious conspiracy for their Jan. 6 actions — horrifying to remember that he and other colleagues endured as a shelter from the mob two years earlier. The partner of the Capitol Police officer who was killed hours after the riot also filed a lawsuit against Trump late Thursday.
In addition, members of the so-called gallery group of Democratic lawmakers, who were holed up in shelters during the attack, were planning to hold a lunch for officers from the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department. That group, which includes Wild, plans to sit together on the floor during Friday’s proceedings.
Biden also presented Presidential Citizens Medals on Friday to prominent figures who opposed Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 losses – from state officials to Capitol Police to election workers.
Back on the Hill, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) — one of McCarthy’s most staunch critics — made the rounds of the Democratic side aisle during Thursday’s session and said in a Fox News interview that he was seeking reassurance that he would not inadvertently leave the House floor to help the GOP leader claim the gavel.
“My conversations with Democrats have largely been about making sure they don’t leave the floor for dinners or fundraisers or whatnot,” Gaetz said on “The Ingraham Angle.” “We need them to be there so that is the denominator in the equation on electing a speaker.”
According to a person familiar with the conversation who spoke on condition of anonymity, he asked Minnesota Rep. Ilhan told Omar that her group had so far gotten everything they wanted from McCarthy, but still did not plan to vote him out.
Indeed, Democrats have held together through all 11 speaker ballots so far and have signaled no desire to bail out Republicans from their plight. They are preparing to stay into the weekend and whip against Republican efforts to adjourn the House.
Any talks between Democratic and Republican lawmakers about ways to end the speakership impasse remain preliminary and have not resulted in a concrete agreement.
Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.
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