Democrat Says She Won’t Help Save McCarthy If Republicans Try Ousting Him

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During a discussion on MSNBC with host Mehdi Hasan, Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.), a first-term member of the House, said she had no ambition of helping Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) keep his current role as House Speaker if dissenting Republicans really do move to oust him. Democrats, of course, would rather Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) take the spot, but considering they don’t have enough votes in the chamber to place Jeffries there, supporting McCarthy could, in theory, be a tactical decision to keep the House at least functioning.

But McCarthy hasn’t proven he can even do that. The federal government may soon shut down, at least for a time, as Republicans in the House limp towards final approval of needed funding measures with mere days to go. The debacle follows the down-to-the-wire dispute over the needed lift to the national debt limit, which if left undone could have created significant financial problems compounding across the economy. And it’s the same kind of situation here, with paychecks for many federal government personnel at risk if the shutdown really does transpire.

“I have no hope that he can govern,” Lee said. “I have no hope that he can muster the courage and the backbone to do what we need for the American people. And that said, I would never promise my support for someone who has no backbone, someone who is so selfish in their own ambition to keep their seat that they’d rather keep their seat than keep our government running, than make sure that working class families, veterans, seniors, babies have the things that they need — because he can’t stand up to his conference.”

Some Republicans are clearly fine with a shutdown. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said during a House committee hearing that the lack of an at least short-term funding agreement via something called a continuing resolution (CR) could supposedly be a boost to negotiations because of adding urgency behind these Republicans’ push for policy wins. While they hold out, though, people’s real-world circumstances are at risk!