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Jeffries: 'House Democratic leadership will vote yes' on motion to vacate speakership

Gaetz's resolution will be part of a series of votes starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Published: October 3, 2023 12:49pm

Updated: October 3, 2023 1:59pm

House Democrats say that they will not support House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as the chamber votes on the motion from conservative Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to oust him, and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote that House Democratic leadership will vote in favor of the motion, according to a letter to his colleagues. 

“It is now the responsibility of the GOP members to end the House Republican Civil War. Given their unwillingness to break from MAGA extremism in an authentic and comprehensive manner, House Democratic leadership will vote yes on the pending Republican Motion to Vacate the Chair," Jeffries wrote in the letter released on Tuesday.


Jeffries, N.Y., told fellow Democrats during a closed-door meeting to not bail out the Republican speaker, a person who attended the meeting told "The New York Times."

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., indicated that Jeffries instructed Democrats to not support McCarthy.

"We are following our leader and we are not saving Kevin McCarthy," she said, according to "The Hill."

As Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., left the caucus meeting, he said that he was "excited" that Democrats are united on the issue. When pressed for more information on Jeffries' messaging, Bowman said: "We are upholding the institution as a party."

Even moderate Democrat Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, who sometimes votes with Republicans, said he sees "no reason to vote" for McCarthy.

Other Democrats who said they would vote to unseat McCarthy include Reps. Adam Schiff, Calif.; Maxine Waters, Calif.; Bennie Thompson, Miss.; Zoe Lofgren, Calif.; Ted Lieu, Calif.; Mark Takano, Calif.; and Veronica Escobar, Texas.

Some Republicans have expressed concerns that a new speaker's election could make things worse for them in the chamber, as it already took 15 rounds of votes before McCarthy was elected House speaker in January.

"Here’s one bad scenario: In the new Speaker election, a candidate wins not by getting 218 Republican votes but instead by getting some Democrat votes in exchange for letting their bad bills come to the floor or otherwise sharing power," Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

However, other Republicans, such as Rep. Tim Burchett, Tenn., have said they will not support McCarthy. 

Gaetz's resolution will be part of a series of votes expected to start at 1:30 p.m.

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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