Democrat Floats Backing McCarthy to Overcome Speakership Impasse

Democratic House representative Marcy Kaptur signaled in an interview on Capitol Hill Tuesday that she would consider crossing the floor and voting for the Republican frontrunner Kevin McCarthy.

“I wish I could be part of some kind of a unity caucus that would yield [McCarthy] the votes, because the Republicans hold a majority, and maybe put us in a special category,” Kaptur told Taylor Popielarz, a Washington correspondent for Spectrum News.

Kaptur’s district, Ohio’s 9th, has become progressively redder in recent elections with redistricting. Whereas a decade ago, Kaptur won her seat with nearly three-quarters of the vote, only 56 percent of the electorate backed her in 2022. On Tuesday, Kaptur became the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress, serving her 21st term since her first political appearance in 1982.

Although Kaptur expressed a willingness to cross party lines to appoint a new speaker, she dismissed the idea of backing fellow Representative Jim Jordan, a fellow Ohioan, who garnered a few Republican votes yesterday during McCarthy’s failed first bid.

“I’ve never seen him be a voice for Ohio,” Kaptur told Spectrum News. “He operates theoretically, in space that doesn’t yield anything for his district or anything for the state.”

McCarthy’s difficulty securing the necessary 218 votes to make him speaker, and his inability to win over Republican holdouts, is leading representatives to look for bipartisan opportunities.

CNN anchor Jim Sciutto confirmed Wednesday morning that Republican congressman Don Bacon of Nebraska was in “preliminary talks” with Democrats to find a consensus candidate for the Speakership. Although Bacon underscored that the process would start with McCarthy he did not rule out supporting other Republican hopefuls.

According to Sciutto, Republicans are apparently offering Democrats favorable party representation ratios on select House committees.

Still, as the House approaches the second day of elections for the speakership, McCarthy’s position remains precarious. Earlier attempts to appeal to Freedom Caucus Republicans by offering new rules surrounding no confidence measures and proxy voting failed to deliver McCarthy the desired result.

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